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THE  UNCONSCIOUS 


THE  MACMILLAN  COMPANY 

NEW  YORK   •    BOSTON   •    CHICAGO 
DALLAS       ATLANTA    •    SAN  FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN  &  CO.,  LIMITED 

LONDON    •    BOMBAY   •    CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE  MACMILLAN  CO.  OF  CANADA,  LTD. 

TORONTO 


Ex  Libris 
C.  K.  OGDEN 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS 


THE  FUNDAMENTALS  OF  HUMAN 

PERSONALITY  NORMAL  AND 

ABNORMAL 


BY 

MORTON  PRINCE,  M.D.,  LL.D. 

PROFESSOR  (EMERITUS)  OF  DISEASES  OF  THE  NEBVOUS  SYSTEM, 
TUFTS  COLLEGE  MEDICAL  SCHOOL;   CONSULTING  PHY- 
SICIAN TO  THE  BOSTON  CITY  HOSPITAL 


SECOND   EDITION 
REVISED 


ileto 
THE   MACMILLAN  COMPANY 

1921 


COPYRIGHT,   1914  and   1921 
BY  THE  MACMILLAN  COMPANY 


Set  up  and  electrotyped.    Published  March,  1914. 
New  Edition,  June,  1921. 


o 


PI 


^Y  OF  ^  •  T  TFORNIA 

SANTA  BARBARA 


PREFACE 

This  work  is  designed  to  be  an  introduction  to 
abnormal  psychology.  The  problems  considered, 
however,  belong  equally  to  normal  psychology  in 
that  they  are  problems  of  psycho-physiological 
functions  and  mechanisms.  I  have  made  no  attempt 
to  develop  any  particular  school  of  psychological 
theory  but  rather,  so  far  as  may  be,  to  gather  to- 
gether the  knowledge  already  gained  and  lay  a 
foundation  which  can  be  built  upon  by  any  school 
for  the  solution  of  particular  problems,  especially 
those  of  special  pathology.  I  have  therefore  en- 
deavored to  avoid  controversial  questions  although 
this,  of  course,  has  not  been  wholly  possible,  and 
indeed  so  far  as  special  pathological  conditions  (the 
psychoses)  have  been  considered,  it  has  been  for  the 
purpose  of  providing  data  and  testing  the  principles 
adduced.  The  inductive  method,  alone,  I  believe,  as 
in  the  physical  sciences,  can  enable  us  to  arrive  at 
sound  conclusions — justify  the  formulation  of  theo- 
ries to  explain  psychological  phenomena.  Because 
of  the  very  difficulties  of  this  field  of  research — one 
of  which  is  that  of  submitting  to  experimental  condi- 
tions complex  psychological  phenomena  having  so 
many  factors — it  is  all  the  more  incumbent  that  the 
inductive  method  should  be  employed.  To  my  way 


vi  PREFACE 

of  thinking  we  should  begin  at  the  bottom  and  build 
up  bit  by  bit,  drawing,  as  we  go,  no  wider  conclu- 
sions than  the  facts  developed  warrant ;  or  if  we  do, 
these  should  be  recognized  clearly  as  working  hy- 
potheses or  speculative  theories.  Skyscrapers 
should  not  be  erected  until  the  foundations  have  been 
examined  to  see  if  they  will  bear  the  superstructure. 
That  I  have  wholly  succeeded  in  so  rigorously  re- 
stricting my  own  endeavors  I  can  scarcely  hope.  I 
trust,  however,  that  I  have  succeeded  in  consistently 
maintaining  the  distinction  between  facts  and  their 
interpretations. 

The  present  volume  consists  of  selected  lectures 
(with  the  exception  of  four)  from  courses  on  ab- 
normal psychology  delivered  at  the  Tufts  College 
Medical  School  (1908-10)  and  later  at  the  University 
of  California  (1910).*  These  again  were  based  on  a 

*  In  this  connection  it  is  a  satisfaction  to  the  author  to  note 
that  more  recently  a  committee  was  appointed  by  the  American 
Psychological  Association  (December,  1911)  to  investigate  the  rela- 
tion of  psychology  to  medical  education.  This  committee,  after  an  ex- 
tensive inquiry  by  correspondence  with  all  the  medical  schools  of  the 
country,  has  made  a  report  (Science,  Oct.  17,  1913)  based  upon  the 
preponderating  opinion  of  the  best  medical  schools  and  of  the  schools 
as  a  whole.  The  second  (in  substance)  and  third  conclusions 
reached  in  the  report  were  as  follows: 

2nd:  For  entrance  in  certain  schools  requiring  a  preliminary 
college  training  of  greater  or  less  length  an  introductory  or  pre- 
inedical  course  in  psychology  should  be  required  in  the  same  way 
as  they  now  require  chemistry,  biology,  physics,  etc.,  or,  in  lieu 
thereof,  a  course  in  the  medical  schools. 

3rd:  "It  is  the  belief  of  most  of  the  best  schools  that  a  second 
course  in  psychology  should  precede  the  course  in  clinical  psychiatry 
and  neurology.  This  course  should  have  more  of  a  practical  nature, 


PREFACE  vii 

series  of  papers  on  the  Unconscious  published  in  the 
Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology  (1908-9)  of  which 
they  are  elaborations.  Since  the  lectures  were  deliv- 
ered a  large  amount  of  new  material  has  been  incor- 
porated and  the  subject  matter  considered  in  more 
detail  and  more  exhaustively  than  was  practical  be- 
fore student  bodies.  The  four  additional  lectures 
(X,  XI,  XII  and  XIII)  appeared  in  abbreviated 
form  in  the  same  Journal  (Oct.,  Nov.,  1912)  under 
the  title  "The  Meaning  of  Ideas  as  Determined  by 
Unconscious  Settings."  The  lecture  form  has  been 
retained,  offering  as  it  does  many  advantages  where, 
in  the  exposition  of  a  difficult  subject,  much  that  is 
elemental  needs  to  be  stated. 

As  the  subconscious  and  its  processes  are  funda- 
mentals both  in  the  structure  of  personality  and  in 

and  should  deal  especially  with  abnormal  mental  processes  and  with 
the  application  of  psychological  principles  and  facts  to  medical 
topics.  Although  this  course  should  deal  chiefly  with  psychopath- 
°l°gy>  it  should  not  be  permitted  to  develop,  or  degenerate,  into  a 
course  in  psychiatry,  neurology  or  psychotherapeutics.  This  course 
should  be  clinical  in  the  sense  that,  as  far  as  possible,  clinical 
material  should  be  the  basis  of  the  course,  but  it  should  not  be 
clinical  in  the  sense  that  the  students  are  given  particular  cases  for 
the  purpose  of  diagnosis  or  of  treatment.  The  functions  of  the 
courses  in  psychiatry  and  neurology  should  not  be  assumed  by  this 
course. ' ' 

The  courses,  from  which  I  have  selected  twelve  lectures  for  my 
present  purpose,  were  designed  for  just  such  instruction  as  is  recom- 
mended in  this  report.  They  were,  I  believe,  the  first  to  be  given 
on  these  subjects  in  any  medical  school  or  college  in  this  country. 
Necessarily  they  covered  a  wider  range  of  topics  than  the  lectures 
now  published  which  more  properly  serve  as  an  introduction  to  the 
general  subject. 


viii  PREFACE 

the  many  mechanisms  through  which  personality, 
normal  and  abnormal,  finds  expression,  the  first 
eight  lectures  are  devoted  to  its  exposition.  Indeed, 
as  has  been  said,  the  subconscious  is  not  only  the 
most  important  problem  of  psychology,  it  is  the 
problem.  The  study  of  its  phenomena  must  be  pre- 
liminary to  that  of  the  functioning  mechanisms  of 
both  the  normal  mind  and  of  those  special  patholog- 
ical conditions — the  psycho-neuroses — which  modern 
investigators  are  tracing  to  its  perversions. 

In  a  recently  published  article  M.  Bergson  con- 
cludes with  the  following  prophesy:  "To  explore 
the  most  sacred  depths  of  the  unconscious,  to  labor 
in  what  I  have  just  called  the  subsoil  of  conscious- 
ness, that  will  be  the  principal  task  of  psychology 
in  the  century  which  is  opening.  I  do  not  doubt  that 
wonderful  discoveries  await  it  there,  as  important 
perhaps  as  have  been  in  the  preceding  centuries  the 
discoveries  of  the  physical  and  natural  sciences. 
That  at  least  is  the  promise  which  I  make  for  it, 
that  is  the  wish  that  in  closing  I  have  for  it. "  * 

And  yet  one  reads  and  hears  all  sorts  of  contra- 
dictory statements,  made  by  those  who  it  is  pre- 
sumed should  know,  regarding  the  actuality  of  the 
subconscious.  Thus  one  or  another  writer,  assum- 
ing to  know,  states  most  positively  that  there  is  no 
such  thing  as  the  subconscious.  Others,  equally  em- 
phatic, postulate  it  as  an  established  fact  rather 
than  a  theory,  or  assume  it  as  a  philosophical  con- 
cept or  hypothesis  to  explain  particular  phenomena. 

*"The  Birth  of  the  Dream,"  The  Independent,  Oct.  30,  1913. 


PREFACE  ix 

One  difficulty  is  that  the  term,  as  commonly  used, 
has  many  meanings,  and  it  has  followed  that  dif- 
ferent writers  have  assumed  it  with  respectively 
different  meanings.  Consequently  the  subconscious 
as  an  actuality  has  been  unwittingly  denied  when 
the  intent  has  been  really  to  deny  some  particular 
meaning  or  interpretation,  and  particular  meanings 
have  been  subsumed  which  are  only  philosophical 
concepts. 

There  should  be  no  difficulty  in  deciding  what  the 
facts  permit  us  to  postulate.  The  subconscious  is  a 
theory  based  upon  observed  facts  and  formulated  to 
explain  those  facts.  There  are  many  precise  phe- 
nomena of  different  kinds  which  can  only  be  ex- 
plained as  due  to  explicitly  subconscious  processes, 
that  is,  processes  which  do  not  appear  in  the  con- 
tent of  consciousness ;  just  as  the  phenomena  mani- 
fested by  radium  can  only  be  explained  by  emana- 
tions (or  rays)  which  themselves  are  not  visible  and 
cannot  be  made  the  object  of  conscious  experience. 
In  each  case  it  is  the  manifestations  of  such  proc- 
esses of  which  we  become  aware.  Subconscious 
processes  and  radio-activity  stand  on  precisely  the 
same  basis  so  far  as  the  determination  of  their 
actuality  is  concerned.  (The  latter  have  the  advan- 
tage, of  course,  in  that  being  physical  they  are  sub- 
ject to  quantitative  measurement.)  Such  being  the 
case  it  ought  to  be  possible  to  construct  the  theory 
of  the  subconscious  by  inductive  methods  on  the 
basis  of  facts  of  observation  just  as  any  theory  of 
the  physical  sciences  is  constructed. 


x  PREFACE 

This  task  I  have  set  before  myself  as  well  as  that 
of  giving  precision  to  our  conception  of  the  theory 
and  taking  it  out  of  the  domain  of  philosophical  con- 
cepts. With  this  purpose  in  view  I  have  endeavored 
to  apply  the  method  of  science  and  construct  the 
theory  by  induction  from  the  data  of  observation 
and  experiment.  I  dare  say  this  has  been  a  some- 
what ambitious  and  some  will  say,  perhaps,  over- 
bold undertaking.  Undoubtedly,  too,  this  attitude 
toward  this  and  other  individual  problems  has  not 
been  always  consistently  maintained,  nor  perhaps 
is  it  completely  possible  in  the  present  state  of  the 
science. 

Our  formulations  should  be  as  precise  as  possible 
and  facts  and  concepts  of  a  different  order  should 
not  be  included  in  one  and  the  same  formula.  I 
have,  accordingly,  divided  the  subconscious  into  two 
classes,  namely  (1)  the  unconscious,  or  neural  dis- 
positions and  processes,  and  (2)  the  coconscious,  or 
actual  subconscious  ideas  which  do  not  enter  the 
content  of  conscious  awareness.  An  unconscious 
process  and  a  coconscious  process  are  both  therefore 
subconscious  processes  but  particular  types  thereof 
— the  one  being  purely  neural  or  physical  and  the 
other  psychological  or  ideational. 

The  soundness  of  the  conclusions  reached  in  this 
work  I  leave  to  the  judgment  of  my  critics,  of  whom 
I  doubt  not  I  shall  have  many.  I  do  not  hesitate  to 
say,  however,  that  it  is  only  by  practical  familiarity 
with  the  phenomena  of  mental  pathology  and  arti- 
ficially induced  phenomena  (such  as  those  of  hyp- 


PREFACE  xi 

nosis,  suggestion,  etc.),  requiring  a  long  training  in 
this  field  of  research  (as  in  other  scientific  fields), 
that  we  can  correctly  estimate  the  value  of  data  and 
the  conclusions  drawn  therefrom;  and  even  then 
many  of  our  conclusions  can  be  regarded  as  only 
provisional. 

In  these  lectures  I  have  also  endeavored  (Lectures 
XIV-XVI)  to  develop  the  phenomena  of  the  emo- 
tional innate  dispositions  which  I  conceive  play  one 
of  the  most  fundamental  parts  in  human  personality 
and  in  determining  mental  and  physiological  be- 
havior. 

Experimental  methods  and  the  well-known  clinical 
methods  of  investigation  have  been  employed  by  me 
as  far  as  possible.  The  data  made  use  of  have  been 
derived  for  the  most  part  from  my  own  observations, 
though  confirmatory  observations  of  others  have  not 
been  neglected.  Although  a  large  number  and  va- 
riety of  subjects  or  cases  have  been  studied,  as  they 
have  presented  themselves  in  private  and  hospital 
practice,  the  data  have  been  to  a  large  extent  sought 
in  intensive  studies,  on  particular  subjects,  carried 
on  in  some  cases  over  a  period  of  many  years. 
These  subjects,  because  of  the  ease  with  which  sub- 
conscious and  emotional  phenomena  were  either 
spontaneously  manifested  or  could  be  experiment- 
ally evoked,  were  particularly  suitable  for  such 
studies  and  fruitful  in  results.  It  is  by  such  inten- 
sive studies  on  special  subjects,  rather  than  by  cas- 
ual observation  of  many  cases,  that  I  believe  the 


xii  PREFACE 

deepest  insight  into  mental  processes  and  mechan- 
isms can  be  obtained. 

In  conclusion  I  wish  to  express  my  great  obliga- 
tion to  Mrs.  William  G.  Bean  for  the  great  assist- 
ance she  has  rendered  in  many  ways  in  the  prepa- 
ration of  this  volume.  Not  the  least  has  been  the 
transcription  and  typing  of  my  manuscript,  for  the 
most  part  written  in  a  quasi  shorthand,  reading  the 
printer's  proofs,  and  much  other  assistance  in  the 
preparation  of  the  text  for  the  press.  For  this  her 
practical  and  unusually  extensive  acquaintance  with 
the  phenomena  has  been  of  great  value. 

I  am  also  indebted  to  Mr.  Lydiard  Horton  for 
kindly  reading  the  proofs  and  for  many  helpful 
suggestions  in  clarifying  the  arrangement  of  the 
text — a  most  difficult  task  considering  the  colloquial 
form  of  the  original  lectures. 

Boston. 

458  Beacon  Street. 


PREFACE  TO  SECOND  EDITION 

The  favorable  reception  which  was  given  to  the  first 
edition  of  this  work  has  tempted  me  in  preparing  a  new 
edition  at  the  request  of  the  publishers  to  incorporate 
four  additional  chapters  dealing  with  the  general 
principles  underlying  the  structure  and  dynamic 
elements  of  human  personality  (Lecture  XVII)  and  a 
study  of  a  special  problem  in  personality  in  which  these 
principles  are  involved,  namely,  the  psychogenesis  of 
multiple  personality  as  illustrated  by  a  study  of  the 
case  known  as  B.  C.  A.*  (Lectures  XVIII-XX.) 
The  latter  study  was  omitted  (with  other  lectures)  from 
the  first  edition  in  order  to  limit  the  number  of  subjects 
treated  and  the  size  of  the  volume. 

Although  the  theory  of  the  subconscious  and  that  of 
the  dynamics  of  specific  conscious  and  subconscious 
processes  (to  the  fundamental  principles  of  both  of 
which  these  lectures  were  limited)  owe  their  value  to 
our  being  able  through  them  to  explain  many  mental 
and  physiological  abnormalities,  they  possess  an  equal 
value  from  the  light  they  throw  upon  the  structure  and 
dynamics  of  that  composite  whole  best  termed  human 

*  A  descriptive  account  of  this  case,  written  as  a  sort  of  autobiography 
by  the  subject  herself,  was  published  in  the  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psy- 
chology (Vol.  3,  Nos.  4  &  5,  1908-1909)  under  the  title  "My  Life  as  a 
Dissociated  Personality."  This  remarkable  account  includes  an  instruc- 
tive description  of  the  coconscious  self  of  considerable  value. 

xiii 


xiv  PREFACE 

personality.  Over  and  above  a  knowledge  of  the 
abnormal,  what  we  as  human  beings  want  to  know  is 
not  only  what  sort  of  physiological  beings  but  what  sort 
of  conscious  beings  we  are;  and  how  we  think  and  act, 
and  what  motives  and  other  impulses  whether  hidden 
or  in  the  clear  light  of  awareness,  regulate  and  deter- 
mine our  behavior;  what  are  the  forces  that  do  it  and 
how.  We  want  to  know  the  answer  to  a  lot  of  problems 
of  this  character,  all  of  which  involve  principles  of 
innate  and  acquired  dispositions. 

A  comprehensive  study  of  human  personality  would 
include,  as  far  as  may  be,  answers  to  all  these  problems 
and  would  require  a  volume  in  itself.  I  have,  therefore, 
not  been  able  more  than  to  give  an  outline  in  Lecture 
XVII  of  what  seem  to  me  to  be  the  fundamental  prin- 
ciples involved  and  the  dynamic  unitary  systems  out  of 
which  the  structure  is  built  up.  There  are  various 
points  of  view  from  which  the  structure  of  the  mind  may 
be  considered,  just  as  with  the  structure  of  a  literary 
work  of  art,  or  of  a  complicated  mechanism  like  an 
automobile.  We  may  consider  the  structure  of  the  lat- 
ter, for  instance,  as  an  assembly  of  complex  units 
or  mechanisms — cylinders,  carburetors,  ignition  sys- 
tems, etc., — each  analyzed  into  its  elements,  without 
regard  to  the  dynamic,  integrative  functioning  of  the 
units  in  the  total  mechanism.  This  would  be  the  static 
point  of  view.  Or  we  may  consider  these  units  as  wholes 
from  the  standpoint  of  the  forces  they  generate,  the 
processes  they  subserve  and  the  parts  they  play  in  the 
total  functioning  of  the  whole  machine.  This  is  the 
dynamic  point  of  view.  It  is  this  latter  which  alone  has 


PREFACE  xv 

a  vital  practical  interest.  The  former  is  of  interest  only 
to  the  technician.  So  with  the  mind.  The  dynamic 
point  of  view  alone  is  of  practical  importance  and  alone 
awakens  fascinating  interest  of  stirring  intensity.  So 
long  as  psychology  held  to  the  static  viewpoint  it  was 
only  of  academic  value.  For  submitted  to  the  prag- 
matic test  it  made  little  difference  whether  it  was  right 
or  wrong.  Nor  could  it  become  an  applied  science. 
Consequently  it  is  from  the  dynamic  viewpoint  that  I 
have  sketched  in — and  it  is  little  more  than  a  sketch — 
the  application  of  the  principles  laid  down  in  these 
lectures  to  the  peculiarly  appealing  problem  of  per- 
sonality. Closely  related  to  this  is  multiple  personality, 
for  it  is  a  special  problem  in  personality,  and  one  that  is 
a  fascinating  study  in  itself.  But  aside  from  its  own 
intrinsic  interest,  its  practical  interest,  its  chief  value  is 
derived  from  the  fact  that  it  is  a  veritable  vivisection  of 
the  mind  by  the  mind's  own  vital  forces,  and  as  such 
gives  us  much  more  definite  and  precise  data  for  the 
determination  of  normal  mental  mechanisms  and 
processes  than  can  introspective  analysis;  just  as  the 
vivisection  of  the  body  in  the  laboratory  and  by  disease 
has  given  us  our  most  precise  knowledge  of  physiology. 
Consequently  the  phenomena  acquire  a  greater  interest 
and  value  from  the  insight  they  give  into  the  normal. 
For  there  is  no  more  fruitful  material  for  the  study  of 
the  mechanisms  and  processes  of  personality  than  cases 
of  this  sort  where  there  is  a  disintegration  of  the  nor- 
mally integrated  structural  wholes  and  a  reassembling 
of  the  component  elements  into  new  composite  wholes. 
In  the  construction  of  these  new  personalities  certain 


xvi  PREFACE 

normal  structures  and  mechanisms  are  dissected  out, 
so  to  speak,  of  the  original  composite  by  the  stress  of 
the  forces  that  cause  the  cleavage  between  systems  and 
are  then  reassembled  into  new  functioning  wholes. 
There  is  a  veritable  vivisection  of  the  mind.  In  a  mind 
thus  disassembled  nearly  every  mental  phenomenon, 
conscious  and  subconscious — conflicts,  hallucinations, 
coconscious  processes,  defense  reactions,  etc., — can  be 
observed  in  an  isolated  form  and  systematically  studied. 
They  are  veritable  gold  mines  of  psychological  phe- 
nomena, as  William  James  once  expressed  it  to  me  in 
reference  to  one  of  my  cases.  It  is  strange,  therefore, 
that  such  cases  have  been  neglected  by  psychologists 
who  would  study  mental  mechanisms.  It  is  true  that 
for  a  complete  understanding  of  multiple  personality  a 
study  of  a  number  of  cases  should  be  presented,  partic- 
ularly as  many  variations  are  to  be  observed  constitut- 
ing differing  types.  But  in  a  volume  of  this  kind  this 
would  be  impracticable.  I  have,  therefore,  limited 
myself  to  the  psychogenesis  of  a  single  case,  that  of 
B.  C.  A.  This  will  I  believe  be  of  interest  not  only  as 
illustrating  the  basic  principles  underlying  the  pathol- 
ogy of  multiple  personality,  but  because  of  the  data  it 
offers  for  the  understanding  of  the  structure  and  mech- 
anisms of  the  normal  self,  something  that  curiously 
appeals  to  the  egoistic  interest  of  human  nature. 

MORTON  PRINCE. 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 

PREFACE  TO  FIRST  EDITION 
PREFACE  TO  SECOND  EDITION 


PAGE 
.         .         .v 

.    xiii 
LECTURE 

I.    THEORY  OF  MEMORY  AS  A  PROCESS         ...      1 
II.    CONSERVATION  OF  FORGOTTEN  EXPERIENCES  OF  NOR- 
MAL, ARTIFICIAL,  AND  PATHOLOGICAL  LIFE    .         .     15 

III.  CONSERVATION  OF  FORGOTTEN  EXPERIENCES  OF  NOR- 

MAL, ARTIFICIAL,  AND  PATHOLOGICAL  LIFE — (Con- 
tinued)    ........     49 

IV.  CONSERVATION  A  RESIDUUM  OF  EXPERIENCES  .         .     87 
V.    NEUROGRAMS        .         .         .  .         .         .  109 

VI.    SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES 147 

VII.    SUBCONSCIOUS  INTELLIGENCE          ....   188 
VIII.    THE  UNCONSCIOUS         .                           .  .                 .229 
IX.    THE  ORGANIZATION  OF  UNCONSCIOUS  COMPLEXES       .  265 
X.    THE  MEANING  OF  IDEAS  AS  DETERMINED  BY  SETTINGS  311 
XI.    MEANING,  SETTINGS,  AND  THE  FRINGE  OF  CONSCIOUS- 
NESS          338 

XII.    SETTINGS  OF  IDEAS  AS  SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES  IN 

OBSESSIONS      .......  363 

XIII.  Two  TYPES  OF  PHOBIA  .  387 

XIV.  THE  PHYSIOLOGICAL  MANIFESTATIONS  OF  EMOTION    .  423 
XV.    INSTINCTS,  SENTIMENTS  AND  CONFLICTS  .         .  446 

XVI.    GENERAL  PHENOMENA  RESULTING  FROM  EMOTIONAL 

CONFLICTS         .         .         .         .         .  •  .  488 

XVII.    THE  STRUCTURE  AND  DYNAMIC  ELEMENTS  OF  HU- 
MAN PERSONALITY      .         .         .         .         .         .  529 

XVIII.    THE  PSYCHOGENESIS  OF  MULTIPLE  PERSONALITY — 

THE  CASE  OF  B.  C.  A.  .  .  545 

XIX.    (The  Same  Continued)— THE  B  PERSONALLY  .  593 

XX.     (The  Same  Continued)— THE  A  PERSONALITY   .         .  614 

SUMMARY  AND  GENERAL  CONCLUSIONS   .  .634 

INDEX  .   645 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS: 

THE  FUNDAMENTALS  OF  HUMAN  PER- 
SONALITY, NORMAL  AND  ABNORMAL 

LECTURE   I 
THEORY    OF    MEMORY    AS   A   PROCESS 

Gentlemen : 

The  subject  which  I  have  chosen  for  our  first 
lecture  is  the  theory  of  the  mechanism  of  memory. 
I  begin  with  the  study  of  this  problem  because  a 
knowledge  of  the  facts  which  underlie  the  theory  of 
memory  is  a  necessary  introduction  to  an  under- 
standing of  the  Unconscious,  and  of  the  part  which 
subconscious  processes  play  in  normal  and  abnor- 
mal mental  life.*  Speaking  more  specifically,  with- 
out such  a  preliminary  study  I  do  not  believe  we 
can  interpret  correctly  a  very  large  number  of  the 
disturbances  of  mind  and  body  which  are  traceable 
to  the  activity  of  subconscious  processes  and  with 
which  we  shall  later  have  to  do. 

If  we  consider  memory  as  a  process,  and  not  as 
specific  phases  of  consciousness,  we  shall  find  that  it 
is  an  essential  factor  in  the  mechanisms  underlying 
a  large  variety  of  phenomena  of  normal  and  abnor- 
mal life.  These  phenomena  include  those  of  both 

*  I  divide  the  Subconscious  into  two  parts,  namely  the  Unconscious 
and  the  Coconscious.  See  preface  and  Lecture  VIII. 

1 


2  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

mind  and  body  of  a  kind  not  ordinarily  conceived  of 
as  manifestations  of  memory.  I  would  have  you 
dwell  in  your  minds  for  a  moment  on  the  fact  that  I 
make  this  distinction  between  memory  as  a  process 
and  memory  as  a  phase  of  consciousness  or  specific 
mental  experience.  What  we  ordinarily  and  con- 
ventionally have  in  mind  when  we  speak  of  memory 
is  the  conscious  thought  of  some  past  mental  experi- 
ence. But  when  we  conceive  of  memory  as  a 
process  we  have  in  mind  the  whole  mechanism 
through  the  working  of  which  this  past  experience 
is  registered,  conserved,  and  reproduced,  whether 
such  reproduction  be  in  consciousness  or  below  the 
surface  of  consciousness. 

Memory  is  usually  looked  upon  as  something  that 
pertains  solely  to  consciousness.  Such  a  conception 
is  defensible  if  the  meaning  of  the  term  is  restricted 
to  those  facts  alone  which  come  within  our  conscious 
experience.  But  when  we  consider  the  mechanism 
by  which  a  particular  empirical  fact  of  this  kind  is 
introduced  into  consciousness  we  find  that  this  con- 
ception is  inadequate.  We  find  then  that  we  are 
obliged  to  regard  conscious  memory  as  only  the  end 
result  of  a  process  and,  in  order  to  account  for  this 
end  result,  to  assume  other  stages  in  the  process 
which  are  not  phases  of  consciousness.  Though  the 
end  result  is  a  reproduction  of  the  ideas  which  con- 
stituted the  previous  conscious  experience,  this  re- 
production is  not  the  whole  process. 

More  than  this,  the  conscious  experience  is  not 
the  only  experience  that  may  be  reproduced  by  the 


THEORY    OF   MEMORY   AS   A   PROCESS        3 

process,  nor  is  the  end  result  always  and  necessarily 
a  state  of  consciousness.  Conscious  memory  is  only 
a  particular  type  of  memory.  The  same  process 
may  terminate  in  purely  unconscious  or  physiologi- 
cal effects,  or  what  may  be  called  physiological 
memory  to  distinguish  it  from  conscious  memory. 
Along  with  the  revived  ideas  and  their  feeling  tones 
there  may  be  a  revival  of  the  physiological  experi- 
ences, or  processes,  which  originally  accompanied 
them;  such  as  secretion  of  sweat,  saliva  and  gastric 
juice,  the  contraction  and  dilatation  of  the  blood 
vessels,  the  inhibition  or  excitation  of  the  heart, 
lungs  and  other  viscera,  the  contraction  of  muscles, 
etc.  These  visceral  mechanisms,  being  originally 
elements  in  a  complex  process  and  accompaniments 
of  the  idea,  may  be  reproduced  along  with  the  con- 
scious memory,  and  even  without  conscious  memory. 
As  this  physiological  complex  is  an  acquired  experi- 
ence it  is  entitled  to  be  regarded  as  memory  so  far 
as  its  reproduction  is  the  end  result  of  the  same 
kind  of  process  or  mechanism  as  that  which  repro- 
duces ideas. 

Then,  again,  investigations  into  the  subconscious 
have  shown  that  the  original  experience  may  be  re- 
produced subconsciously  without  rising  into  aware- 
ness. 

The  more  comprehensive  way,  then,  of  looking  at 
memory  is  to  regard  it  as  a  process  and  not  simply 
as  an  end  result.  The  process,  as  we  shall  see,  is 
made  up  of  three  factors — Registration,  Conserva- 
tion, and  Reproduction.  Of  these  the  end  result  is 


4  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

reproduction;  conservation  being  the  preservation 
of  that  which  was  registered. 

This  view  is  far  more  fruitful,  as  you  will  pres- 
ently see,  for  memory  acquires  a  deeper  significance 
and  will  be  found  to  play  a  fundamental  and  unsus- 
pected part  in  the  mechanism  of  many  obscure 
mental  processes. 

From  this  point  of  view,  ipon  memory,  considered 
as  a  process,  depend  the  acquired  conscious  and 
subconscious  habits  of  mind  and  body. 

The  process  involves  unconscious  as  well  as  con- 
scious factors  and  may  be  wholly  unconscious  (sub- 
conscious). 

Two  of  its  factors — registration  and  conservation 
—are  responsible  for  the  building  up  of  the  uncon- 
scious as  the  storehouse  of  the  mind  and,  therefore, 
primarily  for  all  subconscious  processes,  other  than 
those  which  are  innate. 

To  it  may  be  referred  the  direct  excitation  of 
many  subconscious  manifestations  of  various  kinds. 

Consciously  or  subconsciously  it  largely  deter- 
mines our  prejudices,  our  superstitions,  our  beliefs, 
our  points  of  view,  our  attitudes  of  mind. 

Upon  it  to  a  large  degree  depend  what  we  call 
personality  and  character. 

It  often  is  the  unsuspected  and  subconscious 
secret  of  our  judgments,  our  sentiments,  and  im- 
pulses. 

It  is  the  process  which  most  commonly  induces 
dreams  and  furnishes  the  material  out  of  which  they 
are  constructed. 


THEORY   OF   MEMORY   AS   A   PROCESS        5 

It  is  the  basis  of  many  hypnotic  phenomena. 

In  the  field  of  pathology,  memory,  through  its 
perversions,  takes  part  in  and  helps  to  determine 
the  form  of  a  variety  of  disturbances  such  as  ob- 
sessions, impulsions,  tics,  habit  psychoses  and 
neuroses,  many  of  the  manifestations  of  that  great 
protean  psychosis,  hysteria,  and  other  common  ail- 
ments which  it  is  the  fashion  of  the  day  to  term 
neurasthenia  and  psychasthenia.  It  is  largely  re- 
sponsible for  the  conscious  and  subconscious  con- 
flicts which  disrupt  the  human  mind  and  result  in 
various  pathological  states. 

Finally,  upon  the  utilization  of  the  processes  of 
memory  modern  psychotherapeutics,  or  the  educa- 
tional treatment  of  disease,  is  largely  based.  For 
many  of  these  reasons  an  understanding  of  the 
mechanism  of  memory  is  essential  for  an  under- 
standing of  the  subconscious.  In  short,  memory 
furnishes  a  standpoint  from  which  we  can  produc- 
tively study  the  normal  and  abnormal  processes  of 
the  mind — conscious  and  subconscious. 

These  somewhat  dogmatic  general  statements — 
which  I  have  put  before  you  much  after  the  fashion 
of  the  lawyer  who  presents  a  general  statement  of 
his  case  in  anticipation  of  the  evidence — I  hope 
will  become  clear  and  their  truth  evident  as  we 
proceed;  likewise,  their  bearing  upon  the  facts  of 
abnormal  psychology.  To  make  them  clear  it  will 
be  necessary  to  explain  in  some  detail  the  generally 
accepted  theory  of  memory  as  a  process  and  to  cite 
the  numerous  data  upon  which  it  rests. 


6  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

There  may  be,  as,  indeed,  you  will  find  there  are, 
wide  differences  of  opinion  as  to  the  exact  psycho- 
logical mechanism  by  which  a  memory-process  plays 
its  part  in  the  larger  processes  of  mental  life,  nor- 
mal and  abnormal,  such  as  I  have  just  mentioned, 
but  that  the  memory-process  is  a  fundamental 
factor  is  revealed  by  whatever  method  the  problems 
are  attacked.  A  study,  therefore,  of  this  funda- 
mental factor  and  a  determination  of  its  mechanism 
are  a  prerequisite  for  a  study  of  the  more  complex 
processes  in  which  it  takes  part.  For  this  reason 
I  shall  begin  the  study  of  the  Unconscious  (sub- 
conscious), to  which  I  shall  ask  your  attention  in 
these  lectures,  with  a  consideration  of  the  processes 
of  memory. 

If  you  ask  the  average  person,  as  I  have  often 
done,  how  or  why  he  remembers  he  will  be  puzzled 
and  he  is  apt  to  reply,  "Why,  I  just  remember,"  or, 
1 '  I  never  thought  of  that  before. ' '  If  you  push  him 
a  bit  and  ask  what  becomes  of  ideas  after  they  have 
passed  out  of  mind  and  have  given  place  to  other 
ideas,  and  how  an  idea  that  has  passed  out  of  mind, 
that  has  gone,  disappeared,  can  be  brought  back 
again  as  memory,  he  becomes  further  puzzled.  We 
know  that  ideas  that  have  passed  out  of  mind  may 
be  voluntarily  recalled,  or  reproduced,  as  memory; 
we  may  say  that  meantime  they  have  become  what 
may  be  called  dormant.  But  surely  something 
must  have  happened  to  enable  these  conscious  ex- 
periences to  be  conserved  in  some  way  and  recalled. 
Ideas  are  not  material  things  which,  like  books,  can 


THEORY  OF  MEMORY  AS  A  PROCESS    7 

be  laid  away  on  a  shelf  to  be  taken  up  again 
when  wanted,  and  yet  we  can  recall,  or  repro- 
duce, many  ideas  when  we  want  them  just  as 
we  can  go  to  a  shelf  and  take  down  any  book  we 
want. 

We  learn  the  alphabet  and  the  multiplication  table 
in  childhood.  During  the  greater  part  of  our  lives 
the  sensory  images,  auditory  language  symbols,  etc., 
which  may  be  summarized  as  ideas  representing 
these  educational  experiences,  are  out  of  our  minds 
and  do  not  form  a  continuous  part  of  our  conscious 
experiences,  but  they  may  be  recalled  at  any  moment 
as  memory.  In  fact,  try  as  hard  as  we  may,  we 
cannot  forget  our  alphabet  or  multiplication  table. 
Why  is  this? 

The  older  psychology  did  not  bother  itself  much 
with  these  questions  which  puzzle  the  average  man. 
It  was  content  for  the  most  part  with  a  descriptive 
statement  of  the  facts  of  conscious  memory.  It 
did  not  concern  itself  with  the  process  by  which 
memory  is  effected ;  nor,  so  long  as  psychology  dealt 
only  with  phases  of  consciousness,  was  it  of  much 
consequence.  It  has  been  only  since  subconscious 
processes  have  loomed  large  in  psychology  and  have 
been  seen  to  take  part  on  the  one  hand  in  the 
mechanism  of  conscious  thought  and  on  the  other  to 
produce  various  bodily  phenomena,  that  the  process 
of  memory  has  acquired  great  practical  importance. 
For  it  has  been  seen  that  in  these  subconscious 
processes  previous  conscious  experiences  are  resur- 
rected to  take  part  as  subconscious  memory,  conse- 


8  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

quently  a  conscious  experience  that  has  passed  out 
of  mind  may  not  only  recur  again  as  conscious 
memory,  but  may  recur  subconsciously  below  the 
threshold  of  awareness.  The  study  of  subconscious 
processes  therefore  necessarily  includes  the  proc- 
esses of  memory.  And  so  it  has  become  a  matter 
of  considerable  moment  to  follow  the  fate  of  experi- 
ences after  they  have  passed  out  of  mind  with  a 
view  to  determining  the  mechanism  by  which  they 
can  be  reproduced  consciously  and  subconsciously. 
More  than  this  it  is  important  that  the  theory  of 
memory  should  be  removed  if  possible  from  the 
domain  of  purely  speculative  psychological  con- 
cepts and  placed  on  a  sound  basis  of  observation 
and  experiment  like  other  accepted  theories  of 
science. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  animism,  and  indeed 
of  dualism,  nothing  becomes  of  the  ideas  that  have 
passed  out  of  mind ;  they  simply,  for  the  time  being, 
cease  to  exist.  Consciousness  changes  its  form. 
Nothing  is  preserved,  nothing  is  stored  up.  This 
is  still  the  popular  notion  according  to  which  a 
mental  experience  at  any  given  moment — the  con- 
tent of  my  consciousness,  for  instance,  at  this  mo- 
ment as  I  speak  to  you — is  only  one  of  a  series  of 
kaleidoscopic  changes  or  phases  of  my  self-con- 
sciousness. In  saying  this  what  is  meant  plainly 
must  be  that  the  content  of  consciousness  at  any 
given  moment  is  a  phase  of  a  continuing  psychical 
something.  We  may,  perhaps,  call  this  my  self- 
consciousness,  and  say  that  when  I  reproduce  an 


experience  as  memory  I  simply  bring  back  (by  the 
power  of  self-determination)  that  same  previous 
phase  of  the  psychical  something.  If  I  cannot  bring 
it  back  my  failure  may  be  due  to  a  failure  of  the 
power  of  self-determination  or — and  here  is  a  weak 
point — to  a  failure  in  the  formative  cohesion  of  the 
elementary  ideas  of  that  experience.  In  this  latter 
alternative  no  note  is  taken  of  a  seeming  contradic- 
tion or  paradox.  If  nothing  is  preserved,  if  nothing 
continues  to  exist,  if  memory  is  only  one  of  a  series 
of  kaleidoscopic  phases  of  consciousness,  how  can 
there  be  any  cohesion  or  organization  within  what 
does  not  exist?  Consciousness  according  to  this  no- 
tion might  be  likened  to  the  water  of  a  lake  in  which 
vortices  were  constantly  being  formed,  either  by  the 
current  of  inflowing  springs  from  the  bottom  or  the 
influences  of  external  agencies.  One  vortex  would 
give  place  to  a  succeeding  vortex.  Memory  would 
be  analogous  to  the  reproduction  of  a  previously 
occurring  vortex. 

When,  however,  such  a  notion  of  memory  is  ex- 
amined in  the  light  of  all  the  facts  which  have  to  be 
explained  it  will  be  found  to  be  descriptive  only 
of  our  conscious  experiences.  It  does  not  explain 
memory;  it  does  not  answer  the  question  of  the 
ordinary  man,  "How  can  ideas  which  have  ceased 
to  exist  be  reproduced  again  as  memory?"  For, 
putting  aside  various  psychological  difficulties  such 
as,  How  can  I  determine  the  reproduction  of  a 
former  phase  of  consciousness — that  is,  memory— 
without  first  remembering  what  I  want  to  deter- 


10  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

mine?,  or,  if  this  be  answered,  "By  the  association 
of  phases  (ideas),"  how  can  there  be  any  bond  of 
association  between  an  existing  idea  and  one  that 
does  not  exist!,  and,  therefore,  how  can  association 
bring  back  that  which  has  ceased  to  exist ! — putting 
aside  such  questions,  there  are  a  number  of  psycho- 
physiological  facts  which  this  conception  of  memory 
will  be  found  inadequate  to  meet.  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  investigations  into  the  behavior  of  mental 
processes,  particularly  under  artificial  and  patho- 
logical conditions,  have  disclosed  certain  phenomena 
which  can  be  adequately  explained  only  on  the 
supposition  that  ideas  as  they  pass  out  of  mind — 
the  mental  experiences  of  the  moment — leave  some- 
thing behind,  some '  residuum  which  is  preserved, 
stored  up  as  it  were,  and  which  plays  a  subsequent 
part  in  the  process  of  memory.  These  phenomena 
seem  to  require  what  may  be  called  a  psycho-physi- 
ological theory  of  memory.  Although  the  theory 
has  long  been  one  of  the  concepts  of  normal 
psychology  it  can  be  said  to  have  been  satisfactorily 
validated  only  by  the  investigations  of  recent  years 
in  abnormal  psychology. 

The  full  significance  as  well  as  the  validity  of 
this  theory  can  be  properly  estimated  only  in  the 
light  of  the  facts  which  have  been  revealed  by 
modern  technical  methods  of  investigation.  After 
all,  it  is  the  consequences  of  a  theory  which  count, 
and  this  will  be  seen  to  be  true  particularly  as 
respects  memory.  The  pragmatic  point  of  view  of 
counting  the  consequences,  of  determining  the  dif- 


THEORY  OF  MEMORY  AS  A  PROCESS   11 

ference  that  the  theory  makes  in  the  understanding 
of  the  mental  processes  of  normal  and  abnormal 
life,  reveals  the  importance  to  us  of  validating  the 
theory.  The  consequences  of  the  psycho-physio- 
logical theory  are  so  far-reaching,  in  view  of  its 
bearing  upon  a  large  number  of  problems  in  normal 
and  abnormal  psychology,  that  it  is  worthy  of  sus- 
tained and  exhaustive  examination.  I  will,  there- 
fore, briefly  resume  the  various  classes  of  facts 
which  support  the  theory  and  which  any  adequate 
theory  of  memory  must  satisfactorily  explain.  For, 
as  will  appear,  besides  the  common  facts  of  memory 
pertaining  to  everyday  life,  there  are  a  large  num- 
ber of  other  facts  which  can  be  observed  only  when 
the  mind  is  dissected,  so  to  speak,  by  pathological 
processes,  and  by  the  production  of  artificial  condi- 
tions, and  when  investigations  are  carried  out  by 
special  technic.  Irrespective  of  any  theory  of  ex- 
planation, a  knowledge  of  these  facts  is  extremely 
important  for  an  understanding  of  many  phenom- 
ena in  the  domain  of  both  normal  and  abnormal 
psychology. 

The  meaning  of  conservation — We  all  know,  as  an 
everyday  experience  of  mankind,  that  at  one  time 
we  can  recall  what  happened  to  us  at  some  par- 
ticular moment  in  the  past,  and  at  another  time  we 
cannot.  We  know  that  when  we  have  forgotten 
some  experience  if  we  stimulate  or  refresh  our 
memory,  as  the  lawyers  say  to  us  on  the  witness- 
gtand,  by  reference  to  our  notes,  appropriately 


12  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

called  memoranda,  the  original  experience  may 
come  back  to  mind.  Often  at  one  moment  we  cannot 
recall  a  verse,  or  a  name,  or  a  piece  of  acquired 
knowledge,  while  at  another  time,  a  little  later,  we 
can.  We  have  a  feeling,  a  perhaps  justifiable  belief, 
that  a  desired  piece  of  knowledge  is  not  lost,  that  it 
is  back  somewhere  in  our  minds  but  we  cannot  get 
at  it.  If,  sooner  or  later,  under  one  circumstance 
or  another,  with  or  without  the  aid  of  some  kind 
of  stimulus,  we  can  recall  the  desired  knowledge 
we  say  it  was  preserved  (or  conserved).  If  we 
continue,  under  all  circumstances  and  at  all  mo- 
ments, to  be  unable  to  recall  it  we  say  it  is  lost,  that 
our  memory  of  it  is  not  conserved.  So  the  notion 
of  conservation  of  knowledge  being  something 
apart  from  recollection  enters  even  into  popular 
language.  What  sort  of  thing  conservation  is, 
popular  language  does  not  attempt  to  define.  It  is 
clear,  however,  that  we  may  with  propriety  speak 
of  the  conservation  of  experiences,  using  this  term 
in  a  descriptive  sense  without  forming  any  definite 
concept  of  the  nature  of  conservation.  Provision- 
ally, then,  I  shall  speak  of  conservation  of  a  given 
experience  in  this  sense  only,  meaning  that  the 
memory  of  it  is  not  permanently  lost  but  that  under 
certain  particular  circumstances  we  can  recall  it. 

Now  a  large  mass  of  observations  demonstrate 
that  there  are  an  enormous  number  of  experiences, 
belonging  to  both  normal'  and  abnormal  mental  life, 
which  we  are  unable  to  voluntarily  recall  during  any 
period  of  our  lives,  no  matter  how  hard  we  try,  or 


THEORY  OF  MEMORY  AS  A  PROCESS   13 

what  aids  to  memory  we  employ.  For  these  ex- 
periences there  is  life-long  amnesia.  Nevertheless, 
it  is  easy  to  demonstrate  that,  though  the  personal 
consciousness  of  everyday  life  cannot  recall  them, 
they  are  not  lost,  properly  speaking,  but  conserved ; 
for  when  the  personal  consciousness  has  undergone 
a  peculiar  change,  at  moments  when  certain  special 
alterations  have  taken  place  in  the  conditions  of  the 
personal  consciousness,  at  such  moments  you  find 
that  the  subject  under  investigation  recalls  the 
apparently  lost  experiences.  These  moments  are 
those  of  hypnosis,  abstraction,  dreams,  and  certain 
pathological  states.  Again,  in  certain  individuals 
it  is  possible  by  technical  devices  to  awaken  sec- 
ondary mental  processes  in  the  form  of  a  subcon- 
sciousness  which  may  manifest  the  memories  of  the 
forgotten  experiences  without  awareness  therefor 
on  the  part  of  the  personal  consciousness.  These 
manifestations  are  known  as  automatic  writing  and 
speech.  Then,  again,  by  means  of  certain  post- 
hypnotic  phenomena,  it  is  easy  to  study  conserva- 
tion experimentally.  We  can  make,  as  you  will 
later  see,  substantially  everything  that  happened  to 
the  subject  of  the  experiment  in  hypnosis — his 
thoughts,  his  speech,  his  actions,  for  all  of  which 
he  has  complete  and  irretrievable  loss  of  memory 
in  a  waking  state — we  can  make  memory  for  all 
these  lost  experiences  reappear  when  hypnosis  is 
again  induced.  Thus  we  can  prove  conservation 
when  voluntary  memory  for  experiences  is  abso- 
lutely lost.  These  experiments,  among  others,  as 


14  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

we  shall  also  see,  also  give  an  insight  into  the 
nature  of  conservation  which  is  the  real  problem 
involved  in  an  investigation  into  the  process  of 
memory. 

Before  undertaking  to  solve  this  problem — so  far 
as  may  be  done — it  is  well  to  obtain  a  full  realiza- 
tion of  the  extent  to  which  experiences  which  have 
been  forgotten  may  be  still  conserved.  I  will  there- 
fore, as  I  promised  you,  resume  the  experimental 
and  other  evidence  supporting  this  principle,  mak- 
ing use  of  both  personal  observations  and  those  of 
others. 

NOTE — In  the  following  exposition  of  the  evidence  for  the  theory 
of  memory  it  has  been  necessary  to  make  use  of  phenomena  subsuming 
subconscious  processes  before  the  subconscious  itself  has  been  demon- 
strated. A  few  words  in  explanation  of  the  terms  used  is  therefore 
desirable  to  avoid  confusing  the  reader. 

Dividing  as  I  do  the  subconscious  into  the  unconscious  and  the 
coconscious,  the  former  is  either  simply  a  neural  disposition,  or  an 
active  neural  process  without  any  quality  of  consciousness;  the  latter 
is  an  actual  subconscious  idea  or  a  process  of  thought  of  which,  never- 
theless, we  are  not  aware.  An  unconscious  and  a  coconscious  process 
are  both,  therefore,  only  particular  types  of  a  subconscious  process. 
I  might  have  used  the  single  term  subconscious  throughout  the  first 
seven  lectures,  but  in  that  case,  though  temporarily  less  confusing, 
the  data  necessary  for  the  appreciation  of  the  division  of  the  sub- 
conscious into  two  orders  would  not  have  been  at  hand.  Typical 
phenomena  having  been  described  as  unconscious  or  coconscious  (in- 
stead of  simply  subconscious),  the  reader  will  have  already  become 
familiar  with  examples  of  each  type  and  be  thus  prepared  for  the 
final  discussion  in  Lecture  Fill.  PROVISIONALLY,  these  three 
terms  may  be  regarded  as  synonyms.  To  indicate  the  synonym,  the 
term  "subconscious"  has  often  been  added  in  parenthesis  in  the 
text  to  one  or  other  of  the  subdivisional  terms,  and  vice  versa. 


LECTURE   H 

CONSERVATION    OF    FORGOTTEN    EXPERIENCES    OF 
NORMAL,  ARTIFICIAL,  AND  PATHOLOGICAL  LIFE 

I.    Normal  Life 

Evidence  obtained  by  the  method  of  automatic  writing. — 
If  we  take  a  suitable  subject,  one  in  whom  "automa- 
tic writing"*  has  been  developed,  and  study  the 
content  of  the  script,  we  may  find  that  to  a  large 
extent  it  contains  references  to,  i.  e.,  memories 
of,  experiences  which  have  long  been  forgotten 
by  the  subject  and  which  cannot  even  by  the 
stimulus  of  memoranda  be  voluntarily  recalled. 

*  Automatic  writing  is  script  which  has  been  produced  uncon- 
sciously or  involuntarily,  although  the  writer  is  in  an  alert  state, 
whether  it  be  the  normal  waking  state  or  hypnosis.  The  hand  writes, 
though  the  subject  does  not  consciously  direct  it.  Ordinarily,  though 
not  always,  the  subject  is  entirely  unaware  of  what  the  hand  is  writ- 
ing, and  often  the  writing  is  obtaiaed  better  if  the  attention  is  di- 
verted and  directed  toward  other  matters.  The  first  knowledge  then 
obtained  by  the  subject  of  what  has  been  written,  or  that  the  hand 
has  written  at  all,  is  on  reading  the  script.  Some  persons  can  culti- 
vate the  art  of  this  kind  of  writing.  Mrs.  Verrall  and  Mrs.  Holland, 
for  example,  deliberately  educated  themselves  to  write  automatically, 
and  each  published  a  volume  of  her  records.  In  other  normal  people 
automatic  writing  seems  to  develop  accidentally  or  under  special  cir- 
cumstances. In  certain  types  of  hysteria  it  is  very  easily  obtained. 
"  Planchette, "  which  many  years  ago  was  in  vogue  as  a  parlor  game, 
was  only  a  particular  device  to  effect  automatic  writing. 

15 


16  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

These  experiences  may  be  actions  performed  even 
as  far  back  as  childhood,  or  passages  read  in  books, 
or  fragments  of  conversation,  etc.  Thus  B.  C.  A., 
who  suffers  from  an  intense  fear  or  phobia  of  cats, 
particularly  white  cats,  can  recall  no  experience 
in  her  life  which  could  have  given  rise  to  it.  Yet 
when  automatic  writing  is  resorted  to  the  hand 
writes  a  detailed  account  of  a  fright  into  which  she 
was  thrown,  when  she  was  only  five  or  six  years 
of  age,  by  a  white  kitten  which  had  a  fit  while  she 
was  playing  with  it.  The  writing  also  describes  in 
minute  detail  the  furnishings  of  the  room  where  the 
episode  occurred,  the  pattern  of  the  carpet,  the 
decorative  designs  of  the  window  shades,  the  fur- 
niture, etc.  As  this  observation  is  typical  of  many 
others,  it  may  be  well  to  dwell  upon  it  long  enough 
to  describe  it  in  some  detail  for  the  benefit  of  those 
who  are  not  familiar  with  this  class  of  phenomena. 
After  it  had  been  determined,  by  a  searching  ex- 
amination, that  B.  C.  A.  could  not  recall  any  ex- 
perience that  might  throw  light  upon  her  phobia*, 
an  attempt  was  made  to  recover  a  possible  memory 
in  hypnosis.  As  is  well  known,  the  memory  often 
broadens  in  hypnosis  and  events  which  are  forgot- 
ten when  "  awake  "may  be  recovered.  In  this  in- 
stance the  subject  was  put  into  two  different  hyp- 
notic states,  but  without  success.  This,  again,  is 
a  matter  of  some  importance  for  the  principle  of 
conservation.  Different  hypnotic  states  in  the  same 
individual  may  be  distinguished  in  that  each,  among 
other  characteristics,  may  have  different  and  inde- 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  17 

pendent  systems  of  memories,  as  we  shall  see  later. 
The  memories  which  belong  to  one  state  cannot  be 
recalled  in  another.  Hence  the  fact  that  a  memory 
cannot  be  recovered  in  one  state  is  not  proof  that 
it  is  not  conserved,  nor  is  a  failure  to  recover  the 
memory  of  an  episode  in  all  states  of  hypnosis  evi- 
dence of  failure  of  conservation,  any  more  than  is 
the  failure  to  recover  a  memory  in  the  waking  state 
at  any  given  moment. 

In  the  experiment  with  B.  C.  A.,  after  failing  to 
awaken  a  possible  memory  in  either  state  of  hyp- 
nosis, a  pencil  was  put  in  her  hand  while  she  was 
still  hypnotized.  The  hand  then  wrote  automatic- 
ally, without  the  knowledge  of  the  hypnotized  sub- 
ject, the  following  account  of  this  childhood  episode 
that  I  have  just  mentioned:* 

"I  think  I  know  about  the  cats.  I  can  remember 
myself,  a  little  child,  playing  on  the  floor  with  a 
kitten,  and  it  began  to  run  about  the  room  and  had 
a  fit,  I  think,  and  it  jumped  on  me,  and  I  was  alone, 
and  I  screamed  and  cried  and  called  my  mother,  but 
no  one  came,  and  I  was  very  much  frightened.  I 
do  not  believe  I  ever  told  anyone.  It  was  a  white 

*  In  this  particular  experiment,  when  the  hand  wrote  ' '  automat- 
ically,"  the  second  hypnotic  consciousness  vanished  and  the  subject 
went  into  a  trance  state,  or  what  is  equivalent  to  a  third  hypnotic 
state.  There  was  no  consciousness  present,  excepting  that  which  was 
associated  with  the  writing  hand.  At  other  times,  in  experiments  of 
this  class  with  this  same  subject,  th«  hypnotic  or  the  waking  con- 
sciousness, as  the  case  might  be,  persisted  alert  while  the  hand  wrote. 
For  the  purpose  of  the  experiment  in  recovering  memories  this  change 
in  the  psychological  condition  is  not  of  importance,  the  principle  re- 
mains the  same. 


18  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

kitten.  It  ran  out  of  the  room  and  after  a  bit  I 
went  on  playing. ' ' 

To  test  the  extent  of  the  conserved  memories  still 
further  the  hand  was  asked  to  describe  the  furnish- 
ings of  the  room  and  the  plan  of  the  house.  It 
wrote : 

"There  were  two  windows  on  the  side  of  the 
room.  The  shades  were  gray,  I  think,  with  a  border 
of  grapes,  or  something  of  that  color.  The  carpet 
was  green  or  gray  with  green  figures.  There  was 
a  large  old-fashioned  sofa  between  one  window  and 
the  door  which  led  into  the  dining-room.  A  book- 
case and  desk-combination,  you  know.  There  was  a 
mantle,  I  think,  between  the  windows.  It  was  the 
ground  floor." 

This  childhood  episode  and  the  furnishings  of  the 
room  were  completely  forgotten  by  B.  C.  A.  in  the 
sense  that  they  could  not  be  voluntarily  recalled. 
Even  after  reading  the  script  she  could  not  remem- 
ber them.  She  had  not  seen  the  room  since  she  was 
six  years  of  age,  the  family  having  removed  at  that 
time  from  the  town  in  which  the  incident  took  place. 
As  to  the  accuracy  of  the  "automatic"  account  and 
the  possibility  of  fabrication,  the  description  of  the 
room  has  been  corroborated  by  the  independent  and 
written  testimony  of  an  older  member  of  the  family. 
It  was  not  possible  to  confirm  the  incident  of  the 
kitten  as  there  were  no  witnesses.  This  portion  of 
the  account,  therefore,  cannot  be  proved  not  to  be 
a  fabrication,  but  I  have  never  known  a  fabricated 
statement  to  be  made  in  this  subject's  automatic 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  19 

script,  and  I  have  obtained  from  her  a  large  number 
of  statements  of  different  kinds  in  the  course  of 
several  years'  observation. 

However  that  may  be,  the  point  is  not  essential, 
for  the  minute  description,  by  a  special  technic,  of 
the  furnishings  of  a  room  which  had  not  been  seen 
since  childhood,  a  matter  of  some  thirty-five  years, 
and  which  were  totally  forgotten,  is  a  sufficient 
demonstration  of  the  principle  of  conservation  of 
conscious  experiences  that  cannot  be  voluntarily 
recalled.  The  reproduction  of  the  conscious  experi- 
ence by  automatic  writing  was,  of  course,  an  act 
of  memory  effected  by  a  special  device,  and  this 
fact  compels  us  to  postulate  the  conservation  of  the 
experience  during  this  long  period  of  time,  notwith- 
standing that  the  experience  could  not  be  recalled 
voluntarily.  Although  the  conserved  experience 
could  not  be  awakened  into  memory  by  voluntary 
processes  of  the  personal  consciousness  it  could  be 
so  awakened  by  an  artificial  stimulus  under  artifi- 
cial conditions. 

An  observation  like  this,  dealing  with  the  con- 
servation of  long  forgotten  childhood  or  other  ex- 
periences, is  not  unique.  Quite  a  collection  of 
recorded  cases  might  be  cited.  Mr.  C.  Lowe 
Dickinson  has  put  on  record  *  one  of  a  young 
woman  (Miss  C.),  who,  in  an  hypnotic  trance,  nar- 
rated a  dream-like  fabrication  of  a  highly  imagina- 

«  Journal  of  the  S.  P.  B.,  July,  1906.  A  fuller  account  of  this 
case  was  later  published  in  the  same  journal,  August,  1911. 


20  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tive  character.  On  one  occasion,  through  the  imag- 
inary intermediation  of  the  spirit  of  a  fictitious 
person,  who  was  supposed  to  have  lived  in  the  time 
of  Richard  II,  she  gave  a  great  many  details  about 
the  Earl  and  Countess  of  Salisbury,  "and  other 
personages  of  the  time,  and  about  the  manners  and 
customs  of  that  age.  The  personages  referred  to, 
the  details  given  in  connection  with  them,  and 
especially  the  genealogical  data,  were  found  on  ex- 
amination to  be  correct,  although  many  of  them 
were  such  as  apparently  it  would  not  have  been 
easy  to  ascertain  without  considerable  historical 
research."  Miss  C.  after  coming  out  of  the  hypnotic 
trance  was  in  entire  ignorance  of  how  she  could 
have  obtained  this  knowledge  and  could  not  recall 
ever  having  read  any  book  which  contained  the 
information  she  had  given.  Through  automatic 
writing,  however,  it  was  discovered  that  it  was  to 
be  found  in  a  book  called  The  Countess  Maud,  by 
E.  Holt.  It  then  appeared — and  this  is  the  point  of 
interest  bearing  on  the  conservation  of  forgotten 
knowledge — that  this  book  had  been  read  to  her  by 
her  aunt  fourteen  years  previously,  when  she  was 
a  child  about  eleven  years  old.  Both  ladies  had  so 
completely  forgotten  its  contents  that  they  could 
not  recall  even  the  period  with  which  it  dealt.  Here 
were  conscious  experiences  of  childhood  which,  if 
voluntary  recollection  were  to  be  made  use  of  as  a 
test,  would  be  rightly  said  to  have  been  extin- 
guished, but  that  they  had  only  lain  fallow,  con- 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  21 

served  in  some  unconscious  fashion,  was  shown  by 
their  reproduction  in  the  hypnotic  trance.* 

In  this  connection  I  may  instance  the  case  of  Mrs. 
C.  D.,  who  suffers  from  a  fixed  fear  of  fainting. 
She  cannot  recall,  even  after  two  prolonged  search- 
ing examinations,  the  first  occasion  when  this  fear 
developed,  or  why  she  has  it,  and  is,  therefore, 
ignorant  of  its  genesis.  Yet  put  into  abstraction  or 
light  hypnosis  she  recalls  vividly  its  first  occurrence 
as  the  effect  of  an  emotional  scene  of  twenty  years 
ago.  The  details  of  its  psychological  content  come 
clearly  into  consciousness,  and  its  meaning,  as  a 
fear  of  death,  is  remembered  as  a  part  of  the  ori- 
ginal episode.  That  the  fixed  idea  is  a  recurrence  or 
partial  memory  of  the  original  complex  becomes 
logically  plain  and  is  recognized  as  such. 

Instances  of  the  reproduction  in  automatic 
script  of  forgotten  passages  from  books  are  to  be 
found  in  Mrs.  Verrall's  f  elaborate  records  of  her 
own  automatic  writings.  Investigation  showed  that 
numerous  pieces  of  English,  Latin,  and  Greek  script 

*  A  remark  made  by  the  subject  in  the  trance  state,  though  passed 
over  in  the  report  as  apparently  inconsequential,  has  really  much 
meaning  when  interpreted  through  that  conception  of  the  uncon- 
scious memory  process  which  will  be  developed  in  succeeding  chap- 
ters. The  subject,  while  in  the  trance,  claimed  to  be  in  a  mental 
world  wherein  "is  to  be  found,  it  is  said,  not  only  everything  that 
has  ever  happened  or  will  happen,  but  all  thoughts,  dreams,  and  im- 
agination."  In  other  words,  in  that  psychical  condition  into  which 
she  passed,  all  the  conserved  conscious  experiences  of  her  life  could 
be  awakened  into  memory. 

t  Proceedings  of  the  8.  P.  B.,  October,  1906,  Chap.  XII. 


22  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

were  not  original  compositions  but  only  forgotten 
passages  from  authors  previously  read. 

Mrs.  Holland's  script  records,  as  investigation 
seemed  to  show,  the  exact  words  expressing  a  per- 
sonal sentiment  contained  in  a  letter  written  to  her 
twenty  years  before  and  long  forgotten.  The  letter 
proving  this  was  accidentally  discovered.* 

The  following  instance  of  a  forgotten  experience 
is,  in  itself,  common  enough  with  everybody,  but  its 
recovery  by  automatic  writing  illustrates  how  con- 
servation of  the  thousand  and  one  simply  forgotten 
acts  of  everyday  life  may  still  persist.  It  forces, 
too,  a  realization  of  the  reason  why  it  is  possible 
that  though  an  act  may  be  forgotten  at  any  given 
moment  it  may  later  at  any  time  flash  into  the  mind. 
It  is  still  conserved. 

B.  C.  A.  had  been  vainly  hunting  for  a  bunch  of 
keys  which  she  had  not  seen  or  thought  of  for  four 
months,  having  been  in  Europe.  One  day,  soon 
after  her  return,  while  writing  a  letter  to  her  son 
she  was  interrupted  by  her  hand  automatically  and 
spontaneously  writing  the  desired  information. 

*  In  the  automatic  script,  which  purported  to  be  a  spiritistic  mes- 
sage from  a  dead  friend  named  Annette,  occurred  the  enigmatical 
sentence:  "Tell  her  this  comes  from  the  friend  who  loved  cradles 
and  cradled  things."  The  meaning  of  this  was  revealed  by  the 
above-mentioned  letter  to  Mrs.  Holland,  written  twenty  years  pre- 
viously. It  was  from  a  friend  of  Annette's,  and  quoted  an  extract 
from  Annette's  will,  which  ran,  "because  I  love  cradles  and  cradled 
things."  When  Mrs.  Holland  was  tearing  up  some  old  letters  she 
came  across  this  one.  (' '  On  the  automatic  writing  of  Mrs.  Holland, ' ' 
by  Miss  Alice  Johnson:  Proceedings  of  the  S.  P.  B.,  June,  1908,  pp. 
288,  289.) 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  23 

The  letter  to  her  son  began  as  follows:  " October 
30,  19 — .  Dear  Boy:  I  cannot  find  those  keys- 
have  hunted  everywhere"  .  .  .  [Here  the  hand  be- 
gan to  write  the  following,  automatically.]  "0,  I 
know — take  a  pencil"  [Here  she  did  as  she  was 
bidden]  "you  put  those  keys  in  the  little  box  where 
X's  watch  is." 

In  explanation  B.  C.  A.  sent  me  the  following 
letter :  ' '  The  keys  were  found  in  the  box  mentioned. 
I  had  hunted  for  them  ever  since  coming  home, 
October  4th.  One  key  belonged  to  my  box  in  the 
safety  deposit  vault  and  I  had  felt  very  troubled 
and  anxious  at  not  being  able  to  find  them.  I  have 
no  recollection  now  of  putting  them  where  I  found 
them."  [Nor  was  recollection  subsequently  recov- 
ered.] 

I  could  give  from  my  own  observation  if  it  were 
necessary  as  many  instances  as  could  be  desired  of 
"automatic"  reproductions  of  forgotten  experi- 
ences of  one  kind  or  another  the  truth  of  which 
could  be  verified  by  notebook  records  or  other  evi- 
dence. By  a  forgotten  experience  of  course  is 
meant  something  more  than  what  cannot  for  the 
moment  be  voluntarily  recalled.  I  mean  something 
that  cannot  be  remembered  at  any  moment  nor 
under  any  conditions,  even  after  the  memory  has 
been  prodded  by  the  reproduction  in  the  script— 
something  that  is  apparently  absolutely  forgotten. 
The  experience  may  not  only  be  of  a  trivial  nature 
but  something  that  happened  long  in  the  past  and  of 
the  kind  that  is  ordinarily  absolutely  forgotten.  I 


24  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

have  often  invoked  the  automatic  writing  (memor- 
ies) of  the  subject  to  recover  data  elicited  in  the 
past  in  psychological  examinations  but  which  both 
I  and  the  subject  had  forgotten.  Eeference  to  notes 
always  verified  the  automatic  memories.  The 
records  of  automatic  writing  to  be  found  in  the 
literature  are  rich  in  reproductions  showing  con- 
servation of  forgotten  experiences.  In  fact,  given  a 
good  subject  who  can  write  automatically  it  is  easy 
to  obtain  experimentally  evidence  of  this  kind  at 
will. 

Evidence  from  abstraction. — One  of  the  most  striking 
of  artificial  memory  performances  is  the  recovery 
of  the  details  of  inconsequential  experiences  of 
everyday  life  by  inducing  simple  states  of  abstrac- 
tion in  normal  people.  It  is  often  astonishing  to 
see  with  what  detail  these  experiences  are 
conserved.  A  person  may  remember  any  given 
experience  in  a  general  way,  such  as  what  he  does 
during  the  course  of  the  day,  but  the  minute  details 
of  the  day  he  ordinarily  forgets.  Now,  if  he  allows 
himself  to  fall  into  a  passive  state  of  abstraction, 
simply  concentrating  his  attention  upon  a  particu- 
lar past  moment,  and  gives  free  rein  to  all  the  asso- 
ciative memories  belonging  to  that  moment  that 
float  into  his  mind,  at  the  same  time  taking  care 
to  forego  all  critical  reflection  upon  them,  it  will  be 
found  that  the  number  of  details  that  will  be  re- 
called will  be  enormously  greater  than  can  be 
recovered  by  voluntary  memory.  Memories  of  the 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  25 

details  of  each  successive  moment  follow  one  an- 
other in  continuous  succession.  This  method  re- 
quires some  art  and  practice  to  be  successfully 
carried  out.  In  the  state  of  abstraction  attention  to 
the  environment  must  be  completely  excluded  and 
concentrated  upon  the  past  moments  which  it  is 
desired  to  recall.  For  instance,  a  young  woman,  a 
university  student,  had  lost  some  money  several 
days  before  the  experiment  and  desired  to  learn 
what  had  become  of  it.  She  remembered,  in  a  gen- 
eral way,  that  she  had  gone  to  the  bank  that  day, 
had  cashed  some  checks,  made  some  purchases  in 
the  shops  of  the  town,  returned  to  the  university, 
attended  lectures,  etc.,  and  later  had  missed  the 
money  from  her  purse.  Her  memory  was  about  as 
extensive  as  that  of  the  ordinary  person  would  be 
for  similar  events  after  the  lapse  of  several  days. 
I  put  her  into  a  state  of  abstraction  and  evoked 
her  memories  in  the  way  I  have  just  described.  The 
minuteness  and  vividness  with  which  the  details  of 
each  successive  act  in  the  day's  experiences  were 
recovered  were  remarkable,  and,  to  the  subject,  quite 
astonishing.  As  the  memories  arose  she  recognized 
them  as  being  accurate,  for  she  then  remembered 
the  events  as  having  occurred,  just  as  one  remem- 
bers any  occurrence.*  In  abstraction,  she  remem- 
bered with  great  vividness  every  detail  at  the  bank- 

*  It  would  have  required  a  stenographer,  whom  I  did  not  have,  to 
record  fully  all  these  recovered  memories.  They  would  fill  several 
printed  pages,  and  I  can  give  only  a  general  r6sum6  of  them.  Some 
weeks  later  the  experiment  was  repeated  and  a  record  taken  as  fully 
as  possible  in  long  hand. 


26  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

teller's  window,  where  she  placed  her  gloves,  purse, 
and  umbrella,  the  checks,  the  money,  etc. ;  then  there 
came  memories  of  seating  herself  at  a  table  in  the 
bank,  of  placing  her  umbrella  here,  her  purse  there, 
etc. ;  of  writing  a  letter,  and  doing  other  things ;  of 
absent-mindedly  forgetting  her  gloves  and  leaving 
them  on  the  table  ;*  of  going  to  a  certain  shop  where, 
after  looking  at  various  articles  and  thinking  cer- 
tain thoughts  and  making  certain  remarks,  she 
finally  made  certain  purchases,  giving  a  certain 
piece  of  money  and  receiving  the  change  in  coin  of 
certain  denominations;  of  seeing  in  her  purse  the 
exact  denominations  of  the  coins  (ten  and  five- 
dollar  gold  pieces  and  the  pieces  of  subsidiary  coin- 
age) which  remained;  then  of  going  to  another  shop 
and  similar  experiences.  Then  of  numerous  details 
which  she  had  forgotten ;  of  other  later  incidents  in- 
cluding lectures,  exercising  in  the  gymnasium,  etc. 
Through  it  all  ran  the  successive  fortunes  of  her 
purse  until  the  moment  came  when,  looking  into 
it,  she  found  one  of  the  five-dollar  gold  pieces  gone. 
It  became  pretty  clear  that  the  piece  had  disap- 
peared at  a  moment  when  the  purse  was  out  of  her 
possession,  a  fact  which  she  had  not  previously  re- 
membered but  had  believed  the  contrary.  The 
hundred  and  one  previously  forgotten  details  which 
surged  into  her  mind  as  vivid  conscious  recollec- 
tions would  take  too  long  to  narrate. 

*  Later  in  the  day  she  discovered  the  loss  of  her  gloves  and,  not 
remembering  where  she  had  left  them,  was  obliged  to  retrace  her 
steps  in  search  of  them. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  27 

(I  have  made  quite  a  number  of  experiments  of 
this  kind  with  similar  results.  That  the  memories 
are  not  fabrications  is  shown  by  the  fact  that,  as 
they  arise,  they  become  recollections  in  the  sense 
that  the  subject  can  then  consciously  recall  the 
events  and  place  them  in  time  and  space  as  one  does 
in  ordinary  memory,  and  particularly  by  the  fact 
that  many  of  them  are  often  capable  of  confirma- 
tion. 

I  would  here  point  out  that  the  recovery  of  for- 
gotten experiences  by  the  method  of  abstraction 
differs  in  one  important  psychological  respect  from 
their  recovery  by  automatic  writing.  In  the  former 
case  the  recalled  experiences  being  brought  back 
by  associative  memories  enter  into  the  associations 
and  become  true  conscious  recollections,  like  any 
other  recollections,  while  in  automatic  writing  the 
memories  are  reproduced  in  script  without  enter- 
ing the  personal  consciousness  at  all  and  while  the 
subject  is  still  in  ignorance.  Often  even  after  read- 
ing the  script  his  memory  still  remains  a  blank.  It 
is  much  as  if  one's  ideas  had  been  preserved  on  a 
phonographic  record  and  later  reproduced  without 
awakening  a  memory  of  their  original  occurrence.* 
The  significance  of  this  difference  for  the  theory 

*  Of  course  the  memories  recovered  by  either  method  may  be 
fabrications  as  with  ordinary  voluntary  memory,  and  the  automatic 
script  may  stimulate  the  conscious  memory  to  recollect  the  expe- 
riences in  question.  Nevertheless,  while  the  memories  are  being  re- 
corded by  the  script,  no  "conscious"  memory  is  present  with  sub- 
jects who  are  unaware  of  what  the  hand  is  writing. 


28  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

of  conservation  I  will  point  out  later  after  we  have 
considered  some  other  modes  of  reproduction.) 

Among  the  conserved  forgotten  experiences  are 
often  to  be  found  fleeting  thoughts,  ideas,  and  per- 
ceptions, so  insignificant  and  trifling  that  it  would 
not  be  expected  that  they  would  be  remembered. 
Some  of  them  may  have  entered  only  the  margin  or 
fringe  of  the  content  of  consciousness,  and,  there- 
fore, the  subject  was  only  dimly  aware  of  them. 
Some  may  have  been  so  far  outside  the  focus  of 
awareness  that  there  was  no  awareness  of  them  at 
all,  i.  e.,  they  were  subconscious.  Instructive  ex- 
amples of  such  conserved  experiences  may  be  found 
in  persons  who  suffer  from  attacks  of  phobia,  i.  e., 
obsessions.  The  experiences  to  which  I  refer  occur 
immediately  before  and  during  the  attacks.  After 
the  attack  the  ideas  of  these  periods  are  usually 
largely  or  wholly  forgotten,  particularly  the  ideas 
which  were  in  the  fringe  of  consciousness  and  the 
idea  which,  according  to  my  observation,  was  the 
exciting  cause  of  the  attack.  By  the  method  of 
abstraction  I  have  been  able  to  recover  the  content 
of  consciousness  during  the  periods  in  question,  in- 
cluding the  fringe  of  consciousness,  and  thus  dis- 
cover the  nature  of  the  fear  of  which  the  patient 
was  unaware  because  the  idea  was  in  the  fringe. 

Mrs.  C.  D.,  whom  I  have  mentioned  as  having 
suffered  intensely  from  attacks  of  fear,  and  Miss 
F.  E.,  who  is  similarly  afflicted  with  such  attacks 
accompanied  by  the  feeling  of  unreality,  are  in- 
stances in  point.  As  is  well  known  such  attacks 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  29 

come  on  suddenly  in  the  midst  of  mental  tranquil- 
lity, often  without  apparent  cause  so  far  as  the  pa- 
tient can  discover.  While  in  the  state  of  abstraction 
the  thoughts,  perceptions,  and  acts  of  the  period 
just  preceding  and  during  the  attack,  as  they  suc- 
cessively occurred,  could  be  evoked  in  these  sub- 
jects in  great  detail  and  with  striking  vividness. 
The  recovery  of  these  memories  has  been  always  a 
surprise  to  the  patient  who,  a  moment  before,  had 
been  utterly  unable  to  recall  them,  and  had  declared 
the  attack  had  developed  without  cause.  In  the  case 
of  Mrs.  C.  D.  it  was  discovered  in  this  way  the  real 
fear  was  of  fainting  and  death,  and  in  that  of  Miss 
F.  E.  of  insanity.  These  ideas  having  been  in  the 
fringe  of  consciousness,  or  background  of  the  mind, 
the  subjects  were  at  the  time  scarcely  aware  of 
them  and,  therefore,  were  ignorant  of  the  true 
nature  of  their  phobias,  notwithstanding  the  over- 
whelming intensity  of  the  attacks.  Among  the 
memories  recovered  in  these  and  other  cases  I  have 
always  been  able  to  find  one  of  a  thought  or  of  a 
sensory  stimulus  from  the  environment  which  im- 
mediately preceded  and  which  through  association 
occasioned  the  attack.  When  this  particular  mem- 
ory was  recovered  the  patient,  who  had  declared 
that  the  attack  had  developed  without  cause,  at  once 
recognized  the  original  idea  which  was  the  cause 
of  the  attack,  just  as  one  recognizes  the  idea  which 
causes  one  to  blush.  The  idea  sometimes  has  been 
a  thought  suggested  by  a  casual  and  apparently  in- 
significant word  in  a  sentence  occurring  in  a  con- 


30  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

versation  on  indifferent  matters,  or  by  a  dimly 
conscious  perception  of  the  environment,  sometimes 
an  idea  occurring  as  a  secondary  train  of  thought 
perhaps  bearing  upon  some  future  course  of  action, 
and  so  on. 

As  instances  of  such  dimly-conscious  perceptions 
of  the  environment  which  I  have  found  I  may  men- 
tion a  gateway  through  which  the  subject  was 
passing,  or  a  bridge  about  to  be  crossed;  these 
particular  points  in  the  environment  being  places 
where  previous  attacks  had  occurred.  The  percep- 
tions which  precipitated  the  attack  may  have  been 
entirely  subconscious  and  yet  may  be  brought  back 
to  memory.  With  the  pathogenesis  of  the  attacks 
we  are  not  now  directly  concerned.  The  point  of 
interest  for  us  lies  in  the  fact  that  such  forgotten 
casual  ideas  and  perceptions,  some  of  which  had 
been  actually  subconscious  and  some  had  only  en- 
tered the  margin  of  the  focus  of  attention  may,  not- 
withstanding the  amnesia,  be  conserved;  and  the 
same  is  true  of  any  succession  of  trivial  ideas  occur- 
ring at  an  inconsequential  moment  in  a  person 's  life. 

However  that  may  be,  if  you  will  try  to  recall 
in  exact  detail  the  thoughts  and  feelings  which  suc- 
cessively passed  through  your  mind  at  any  given 
moment  say  three  or  four  weeks  ago — or  even  days 
ago — and  their  accompanying  acts,  and  then  (if  you 
can  do  this,  which  I  very  much  doubt)  try  to  give 
them  in  their  original  sequence,  I  think  you  will 
realize  the  force  of  these  observations  and  appre- 
ciate the  significance  of  the  conservation  of  such 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  31 

minute  experiences   and  of  their  reproduction  in 
abstraction. 

Evidence  furnished  by  the  method  of  hypnosis. — It  is  al- 
most common  knowledge  that  when  a  person  is 
hypnotized — whether  lightly  or  deeply — he  may  be 
able  to  remember  once  well-known  events  of  his 
conscious  life  which  he  has  totally  forgotten  in  the 
full  waking  state.  It  is  not  so  generally  known  that 
he  may  also  be  able  to  recall  conscious  events  of 
which  he  was  never  consciously  aware,  that  is  to 
say,  experiences  which  were  entirely  subconscious. 
The  same  is  true,  of  course,  of  forgotten  experi- 
ences which  originally  had  entered  only  the  margin 
of  the  content  of  consciousness  and  of  which  he  was 
dimly  aware.  Among  the  experiences  thus  recalled 
may  be  perceptions  of  minute  details  of  the  environ- 
ment which  escape  the  attentive  notice  of  the  in- 
dividual, or  they  may  be  thoughts  which  were  in 
the  background  of  the  mind  and,  therefore,  never 
in  the  full  light  of  attention.  You  must  not  fall  into 
the  common  error  of  believing  every  hypnotized  per- 
son can  do  this,  or  that  any  person  can  do  it  in 
any  state  of  hypnosis.  There  are  various  ''de- 
grees" or  states  of  hypnosis  representing  different 
conditions  of  dissociation  and  synthesis.  One  per- 
son may  successively  be  put  into  several  different 
states ;  many  persons  can  be  put  into  only  one,  but 
the  degree  of  dissociation  and  capacity  for  syn- 
thesis in  each  state  and  in  every  person  varies  very 
much,  and,  indeed,  according  to  the  technical  devices 


32  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

employed.  Each  state  is  apt  to  exhibit  different 
systems  of  memories,  that  is,  to  synthesize  (recall) 
past  conserved  experiences  in  a  different  degree. 
What  cannot  be  recalled  in  one  state  may  be  in 
another.  We  may  say  as  a  general  principle  that 
theoretically  any  experience  that  has  been  con- 
served can  be  recalled  in  some  state,  and,  con- 
versely, there  is  theoretically  some  state  in  which 
any  conserved  experience  can  be  recalled.  Practi- 
cally, of  course,  we  can  never  induce  a  state  which 
synthesizes  all  conserved  experiences,  nor  always 
one  in  which  any  given  experience  is  synthesized.  I 
shall  later,  in  connection  with  particular  types  of 
conscious  states,  give  examples  of  hypnotic  mem- 
ories showing  conservation  of  such  experiences  as  I 
have  just  mentioned.  The  point  you  will  not  lose 
sight  of  is  that  we  are  concerned  with  hypnotic 
phenomena  only  so  far  as  they  may  be  evidence  of 
the  conservation  of  forgotten  experiences. 

There  is  a  class  of  hypnotic  memory  phenomena 
which  acquire  additional  importance  because  of  the 
bearing  they  have  upon  the  psycho-genesis  of  cer- 
tain pathological  conditions.  They  show  the  con- 
servation of  the  details  of  an  episode  in  their 
original  chronological  order  with  an  exactness  that 
is  beyond  the  powers  of  voluntary  memory  to  repro- 
duce. These  phenomena  consist  of  the  realistic  re- 
production of  certain  emotional  episodes  which  as 
a  whole  may  or  may  not  be  forgotten.  The  repro- 
duction is  realistic  in  the  sense  that  the  episodes 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  33 

are  acted  over  again  by  the  individual  as  if  once 
more  he  were  actually  experiencing  them.  Appar- 
ently every  detail  is  reproduced,  including  the 
emotion  with  its  facial  expressions  and  its  other 
physiological  manifestations,  and  pathological  dis- 
turbances like  pain,  paralysis,  anesthesia,  move- 
ments, etc.  I  will  cite  the  following  three  examples : 

M 1,  a  Russian,  living  in  this  country,  suffers 

from  psycholeptic  attacks  dating  from  an  episode 
which  occurred  seven  years  previously  and  which 
he  has  completely  forgotten.  At  that  time  he  was 
living  in  Russia.  It  happened  that  after  returning 
from  a  ball  he  was  sent  back  late  at  night  by  his 
employer,  a  woman,  to  look  for  a  ring  which  she 
had  lost  in  the  ballroom.  His  way  led  over  a  lonely 
road  by  a  graveyard.  As  he  was  passing  this  place 
he  heard  footsteps  behind  him  and  became  fright- 
ened. Overcome  with  terror  he  fell,  partially  un- 
conscious, and  his  whole  right  side  became  affected 
with  spasms  and  paralysis.  He  was  picked  up  in 
this  condition  and  taken  to  a  hospital.  Each  year 
since  that  time  he  has  had  recurring  attacks  of 
spasms  and  paralysis.* 

In  hypnosis  he  remembers  and  relates  a  dream. 
This  dream  is  one  which  recurs  periodically  but  is 
forgotten  after  waking  from  sleep.  This  is  the 
dream :  He  is  back  in  his  native  land ;  it  is  the  night 
of  the  ball;  he  sees  his  employer  with  outstretched 
hand  commanding  him  to  go  search  for  the  ring. 

*  Sidis,  Prince,  and  Linenthal :  A  contribution  to  the  Patholog7 
of  Hysteria,  Boston  Medical  and  Surgical  Journal,  June  23,  1904. 


34  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Once  more  he  makes  his  way  along  the  lonely  road ; 
he  hears  footsteps;  he  becomes  frightened,  falls, 
and  then  awakes,  with  entire  oblivion  for  the  dream, 
to  find  his  right  side  paralyzed  and  in  spasms. 

The  following  experiment  is  now  made.  By  sug- 
gestion in  hypnosis  he  is  made  to  believe  that  he 
is  fifteen  years  of  age.  As  a  consequence  in  his 
hypnotic  dream  he  is  once  more  living  in  Russia 
before  he  had  learned  English.  It  is  now  found  that 
he  has  spontaneously  lost  all  knowledge  of  the 
English  language  and  can  speak  only  Russian.  He 
is  told  it  is  the  night  of  the  ball  and,  as  in  a  dream, 
he  is  carried  successively  through  the  different 
events  of  that  night.  Finally  he  returns  in  search 
of  the  ring,  passes  again  over  the  lonely  road,  hears 
the  footsteps  and  becomes  frightened.  At  this 
point  his  face  is  suddenly  contorted  with  an  expres- 
sion of  fright,  the  whole  right  side  becomes  para- 
lyzed and  anesthetic,  and  the  muscles  of  face,  arm, 
and  leg  affected  with  clonic  spasms.  At  the  same 
time  he  moans  with  pain  which  he  experiences  in 
his  side,  which  he  hurt  when  he  fell.  Though  con- 
sciousness is  confused  he  answers  questions  and 
describes  the  pain  which  he  feels.  On  being  awak- 
ened all  passes  off. 

Mrs.  W.  on  her  return  to  Boston  after  an  ab- 
sence in  Europe  happened  to  pass  by  a  certain 
house  on  her  way  to  her  hotel;  the  house  (a  private 
hospital)  was  one  with  which  she  had  very  distress- 
ing associations.  On  leaving  the  steamer  she  took 
a  street  car  which  she  left  a  block  distant  from  the 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  35 

hotel.  She  walked  this  distance  and  as  she  passed 
the  house  she  was  seized  with  a  sudden  attack  of 
fear,  dizziness,  palpitation,  etc.  Although  it  is 
beside  the  point  I  may  say  that  she  had  not  noticed 
the  locality  and  did  not  consciously  recognize  the 
house  until  the  attack  developed.  The  attack  was, 
therefore,  induced  by  a  subconscious  perception.* 
She  recalls  the  incident  and  describes  the  attack, 
remembers  that  it  occurred  at  this  particular  spot, 
but  without  further  detail. 

Now  in  hypnosis  she  is  taken  back  to  the  day  of 
her  arrival  on  the  steamship.  In  imagination,  as 
in  a  sort  of  dream,  she  is  living  over  again  that 
day;  she  disembarks  from  the  ship,  enters  the  street 
car  in  which  she  rides  a  certain  distance ;  she  leaves 
the  car  at  the  point  nearest  her  destination  and  pro- 
ceeds to  walk  the  remainder  of  the  distance;  sud- 
denly her  face  exhibits  the  liveliest  emotion;  she 
becomes  strongly  agitated  and  her  respiration  is 
short  and  quick ;  her  head  and  eyes  turn  toward  the 
left  and  upward,  as  if  in  search  of  a  cause,  and 
she  exclaims,  "Yes,  that's  it,  that's  it,"  as  she 
recognizes  in  imagination  the  house  which  had  been 
the  scene  of  her  previous  distress.  Then  the  at- 
tack subsides  as  she  passes  by,  continuing  her  way 
toward  her  hotel. 

Mrs.  E.  B.  suffers  from  traumatic  hysteria  as  the 

*  The  Dissociation  of  a  Personality,  by  Morton  Prince.  (New 
York;  Longmans,  Green  &  Co,,  1906.)  P.  77.  Hereafter,  when  this 
work  is  referred  to,  the  title  will  be  indicated  simply  by  ' '  The  Dis- 
sociation. ' ' 


36  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

result  of  a  slight  but  emotional  accident — a  fall — 
when  alighting  from  a  railway  train.  The  accident 
resulted  in  a  sprained  shoulder  and  neuritis  of  the 
arm.  She  fully  remembers  the  accident  and  de- 
scribes it  as  any  one  might. 

When  put  into  hypnosis,  however,  the  memory 
assumes  a  different  character.  She  is  taken  back  in 
imagination  to  the  scene  of  the  accident.  Once 
more  the  train  is  entering  the  station;  she  leaves 
the  car,  steps  from  the  platform  upon  a  truck ;  then, 
unawares,  steps  off  the  truck  and  falls  to  the 
ground.  As  she  falls  her  face  suddenly  becomes 
distorted  with  fear;  tears  stream  down  her  cheeks, 
which  become  suffused;  her  heart  palpitates;  she 
suffers  again  acute  pain  in  her  arm,  and  so  on.  Her 
physical  and  mental  anguish  is  painful  to  look  upon. 
Though  I  try  to  persuade  her  that  she  is  not  hurt 
and  that  the  accident  is  a  delusion  my  effort  is  not 
very  successful. 

In  this  experiment,  as  in  the  others,  there  is  sub- 
stantially a  reproduction  in  all  its  details  of  the 
content  of  consciousness  which  obtained  at  the  time 
of  the  accident,  and  also  of  the  emotion  and  its  phys- 
iological manifestations — all  were  faithfully  con- 
served. Further,  each  event  follows  in  the  same 
chronological  sequence  as  in  the  original  experience. 

But  in  these  observations  the  reproduction  differs 
somewhat  from  that  of  ordinary  memory.  It  is  in 
the  form  of  a  dream,  hypnotic  or  normal,  and  the 
subject  goes  back  to  the  time  of  the  experience, 
which  he  thinks  is  the  present,  and  actually  lives 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  37 

over  again  the  original  episode.  Unlike  the  condi- 
tions of  ordinary  memory  the  whole  content  of  his 
consciousness  is  practically  limited  to  that  which 
originally  was  present,  all  else,  the  present  and  the 
intervening  past,  being  dissociated  and  excluded. 
The  original  psychological  processes  and  their 
psycho-physiological  accompaniments  (pain,  paral- 
ysis, anesthesia,  spasms,  etc.)  repeat  themselves  as 
if  the  present  were  the  past.  Plainly,  for  such  a 
reproduction,  the  original  episode  must  have  left 
conserved  dispositions  of  some  kind  which  when 
excited  were  capable  of  reenacting  the  episode  in 
all  its  psycho-physiological  details.  From  a  con- 
sideration of  such  phenomena  it  is  easy  to  under- 
stand how  certain  psycho-neuroses  may  be  properly 
regarded  as  memories  of  certain  past  experiences. 
The  experiences  are  conserved  and  under  certain 
conditions  reproduced  from  time  to  time. 

I  may  cite  one  other  experiment  dealing  with  the 
conservation  of  the  details  of  a  day's  experiences 
after  the  lapse  of  several  months.  The  subject  was 
a  little  girl  who  suffered  from  hysterical  tics.  Hop- 
ing to  discover  the  exciting  cause  of  her  nervous 
disturbance,  I  put  her  into  deep  hypnosis,  and 
evoked  the  memories  of  the  events  of  the  day  on 
which  her  disease  developed,  about  six  months  pre- 
viously. It  was  astonishing  to  hear  her  recall  a 
continuous  series  of  precise  thoughts  and  acts, 
many  of  them  trivial,  of  the  kind  that  would  be 
transient  and  forgotten  by  anybody.  She  began 


38  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

with  the  events  of  the  early  morning,  giving  her 
own  thoughts  and  acts;  the  remarks  of  her  father 
and  mother,  describing  exactly  the  location  in  the 
house  at  the  time  of  each  member  of  the  family ;  her 
arrival  at  school;  the  several  lessons  of  the  day; 
the  remarks  of  the  teacher;  the  happenings  during 
recess;  her  final  entry  into  the  laboratory;  and  the 
sudden  onset  of  the  tic.  Everything  was  given  in 
chronological  order.  The  memories  were  vivid  and, 
as  they  came  up  into  her  mind,  were  recognized  as 
true  recollections.*  All  this  was  forgotten  when 
she  was  awake,  that  is  to  say,  although  conserved, 
it  could  not  be  reproduced.  There  was  no  way,  of 
course,  of  determining  the  accuracy  of  these  mem- 
ories and,  therefore,  their  correctness  lacks  scien- 
tific proof.  On  the  other  hand,  the  facts,  which  are 
in  entire  correspondence  with  similar  results  ob- 
tained under  conditions  where  confirmation  is  possi- 
ble, have  value  as  cumulative  evidence.f 

It  is  not  difficult  to  arrange  experiments  which 
will  test  the  accuracy  with  which  the  minute  details 
of  experiences  may  be  conserved  when  reproduction 

*  Undoubtedly  much  was  forgotten  and,  therefore,  there  must 
have  been  hiatuses  of  which  she  was  not  aware;  but  the  remarkable 
thing  is  that  not  only  so  much,  but  so  much  that  was  inconsequential 
and  evanescent  was  recalled.  If  additional  technical  methods  had 
been  employed  probably  more  memories  could  have  been  recalled. 

f  The  objection  will  probably  be  made  that  the  memories  and 
statements  of  hypnotized  persons  are  unreliable  on  several  grounds, 
chiefly  suggestibility,  liability  to  illusions  and,  in  some  cases,  ten- 
dency to  fabrications.  This  criticism  is  more  likely  to  come  from 
those  who  have  had  a  special  rather  than  a  wide  experience  with 
hypnotism. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  39 

is  at  fault.  A  simple  test  is  to  have  a  suitable  sub- 
ject endeavor  to  repeat  verbatim  the  contents  of  a 
letter  written  by  him  at  some  preceding  time — one 
week,  two  weeks,  a  month,  or  more.  Few  people, 
of  course,  can  do  this.  If,  now,  the  subject  is  a  suit- 
able one  for  the  abstraction  or  hypnotic  method  it 
may  be  that  he  will  be  able  to  reproduce  by  one  or 
the  other  method  the  test  letter,  word  for  word;  a 
comparison  of  the  reproduction  with  the  letter  will, 
of  course,  determine  the  accuracy  of  the  memory. 
In  such  an  experiment  I  have  succeeded  in  getting 
two  subjects,  Miss  B.*  and  B.  C.  A.,  to  repeat  ver- 
batim the  contents  of  fairly  long  letters,  and  this 
even,  on  certain  occasions,  when,  on  account  of  the 
subject  being  a  dissociated  personality,  there  was 
no  recollection  of  the  letter  at  all,  not  even  that  it 
had  been  written.  Such  minute  reproduction 
affords  further  evidence  that  the  conservation  of 
experiences  may  be  much  more  complete  and  exact 
than  ordinary  conscious  memory  would  lead  us  to 
suppose. 

Evidence  from  hallucinatory  phenomena. — I  may  men- 
tion one  more  example  of  conservation  of  a  forgot- 
ten experience  of  everyday  life  as  it  is  an  example 
or  mode  of  reproduction  which  differs  in  certain  im- 
portant respects  both  from  that  of  ordinary 
memory  and  that  observed  under  the  artificial 

*  Miss  B.,  in  these  pages,  always  refers  to  Miss  Beauchamp,  an 
account  of  whose  case  is  given  in  ' '  The  Dissociation. ' '  In  this 
connection  cf.  pp.  501,  81  and  238  of  that  work. 


40  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

methods  thus  far  described.  This  mode  is  that  of 
a  visual  or  an  auditory  hallucination  which  may  be 
an  exact  reproduction  in  vividness  and  detail  of 
the  original  experience.  It  is  a  type  of  a  certain 
class  of  memory  phenomena.  One  of  my  subjects, 
while  in  a  condition  of  considerable  stress  of  mind 
owing  to  the  recurrence  of  the  anniversary  of  her 
wedding-day,  had  a  vision  of  her  deceased  husband, 
who  addressed  to  her  a  certain  consoling  message. 
It  afterwards  transpired  that  this  message  was  an 
actual  reproduction  of  the  words  which  a  friend,  in 
the  course  of  a  conversation  some  months  previ- 
ously, had  quoted  to  her  as  the  words  of  her  own 
husband  just  before  his  death.  In  the  vision  the 
words  were  put  into  the  mouth  of  another  person, 
the  subject's  husband,  and  were  actually  heard  as 
an  hallucination.  Under  the  peculiar  circumstances 
of  their  occurrence,  however,  these  words  awakened 
no  sense  of  familiarity;  nor  did  she  recognize  the 
source  of  the  words  until  the  automatic  writing, 
which  I  later  obtained,  described  the  circumstances 
and  details  of  the  original  episode.  Then  the  ori- 
ginal experience  came  back  vividly  to  memory.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  "automatic  writing"  not  only 
remembered  the  experience  but  recognized  the  con- 
nection between  it  and  the  hallucination.  (The 
truth  of  the  writing  is  corroborated  by  the  written 
testimony  of  the  other  party  to  the  conversation.) 
Although  such  types  of  hallucinatory  memories 
are  not  actual  reproductions  of  an  experience  but 
rather  translated  representations,  yet  they  show 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  41 

the  experience  must  have  been  conserved  in  order 
to  have  determined  the  representation.  The  actual 
experience,  as  we  shall  see  later,  is  translated  into 
a  visual  or  auditory  form  which  pictures  or  verb- 
ally expresses  it,  as  the  case  may  be.  This  type  of 
hallucination  is  common.  That  which  is  translated 
may  be  previous  thoughts,  or  perceptions  received 
through  another  sense.  Thus  Mrs.  Holland  records 
a  visual  hallucination  which  pictured  a  verbal  de- 
scription previously  narrated  to  her  by  a  friend, 
but  forgotten.  The  hallucination  included  "the  fig- 
ure of  a  very  tall  thin  man,  dressed  in  gray,  stand- 
ing with  his  back  to  the  fire.  He  had  a  long  face,  I 
think  a  mustache — certainly  no  beard — and  sug- 
gested young  middle  age."  ...  On  a  s'econd  occa- 
sion "the  tall  figure  in  gray  was  lying  on  the  bed 
in  a  very  flung-down,  slack-jointed  attitude.  The 
face  was  turned  from  me,  the  right  arm  hanging 
back  across  the  body  which  lay  on  the  left  side.  I 
started  violently  and  my  foot  seemed  to  strike  an 
empty  bottle  on  the  floor. ' ' 

There  is  very  little  doubt  that  these  visions  of 
Mrs.  Holland's  represented  Mr.  Gurney,  who  had 
died  from  an  accidental  dose  of  chloroform.  Mrs. 
Holland  "took  very  little  interest"  in  Mr.  Gurney, 
hence  she  had  entirely  forgotten  that  the  main  facts 
of  his  death  had  been  told  to  her  a  few  months  pre- 
viously by  the  narrator,  Miss  Alice  Johnson.* 

In  an  hallucination  of  this  sort  we  have  a  dra- 
matic pictorial  representation  of  previous  though 

*  Proceedings  of  the  S.  P.  S.,  June,  1908. 


42  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

forgotten  knowledge  which  must  have  determined 
it.  In  order  to  have  determined  the  hallucination 
the  knowledge  must  have  been  conserved  somehow. 
I  have  frequently  observed  a  similar  reproduction 
of  a  forgotten  experience,  which  was  not  visual, 
through  translation  into  a  newly  created  visual 
representation  in  the  form  of  an  artificial  hallucina- 
tion. The  following  is  of  this  kind :  Miss  B.,  look- 
ing into  a  crystal,*  saw  a  scene  laid  in  a  wood  near 
a  lake,  etc.  Several  figures  appeared  in  this  scene, 
which  was  that  of  a  murder.  Although  she  had  no 
recollection  of  anything  that  could  have  given  rise 
to  the  hallucination,  investigation  showed  that  the 
original  experience  was  to  be  found  in  one  of  Marie 
Correlli's  novels  which  she  had  read  but  forgotten. 
The  vision  was  a  correct  representation  of  the 
scene  as  described  in  the  book. 

In  suitable  subjects  almost  any  past  experience, 
whether  forgotten  or  not,  can  be  reproduced  in  this 
way  if  conserved,  and  observation  shows  that  the 
number  which  are  conserved  is  enormous.  I  shall 

*  Crystal  or  artificial  visions  are  hallucinatory  phenomena  which, 
like  automatic  writing,  can  be  cultivated  by  some  people.  The  com- 
mon technic  is  to  have  a  person  look  into  a  crystal,  at  the  same  time 
concentrating  the  mind,  or  putting  himself  into  a  state  of  abstrac- 
tion. Under  these  conditions  the  subject  sees  a  vision,  i.  e.,  has  a 
visual  hallucination.  The  vision  may  be  of  some  person  or  place,  or 
may  represent  a  scene  which  may  be  enacted.  Because  of  the  use  of 
a  crystal  such  hallucinations  are  called  "crystal  visions,"  but  a 
crystal  is  not  requisite;  any  reflecting  surface  may  be  sufficient,  or 
even  the  concentration  of  the  attention.  The  crystal  or  other  ob- 
ject used  of  course  acts  only  by  aiding  the  concentration  of  atten- 
tion and  by  force  of  suggestion. — The  subconscious  is  tapped. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  43 

have  occasion  to  cite  further  examples  in  other  con- 
nections. The  phenomenon  of  translation  we  shall 
find  when  we  come  to  study  it,  as  we  shall  do  in 
another  lecture,  throws  light  upon  the  nature  of 
conservation  for  here  we  are  dealing  with  some- 
thing more  than  simple  reproduction;  what  is  con- 
served becomes  elaborated  into  a  new  composition. 

Evidence  obtained  from  dreams — Another  not  uncom- 
mon mode  in  which  forgotten  experiences  are  re- 
covered is  through  dreams.  The  content  of  the 
dream  may,  as  Freud  has  shown,  be  a  cryptic  and 
symbolical  expression  or  representation  of  the  ex- 
perience,* or  a  visualized  representation  or  obvious 
symbolism,  much  as  a  painted  picture  may  be  a 
symbolized  expression  of  an  idea,f  or  it  may  be 
a  realistic  reproduction  in  the  sense  that  the  sub- 
ject lives  over  again  the  actual  experience.  A 
relative  of  mine  gave  me  a  very  accurate  descrip- 
tion of  a  person  whom  she  had  never  seen  from  a 
dream  in  which  he  appeared.  After  describing  his 
hair,  eyes,  contour  of  face,  mouth,  etc.,  she  ended 
with  the  words,  "He  looks  like  a  cross  between  a 
Scotchman  and  an  Irishman."  After  she  had  most 
positively  insisted  that  she  had  never  seen  this 
person  or  heard  him  described — against  my  pro- 
test to  the  contrary — I  reminded  her  that  I  had 
myself  described  him  to  her  only  a  few  days  before 

*  Freud :  Traumdeutung,  2  aufl.  1909. 

t  Morton  Prince :    The  Mechanism  and  Interpretation  of  Dreams. 
The  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  October-November,  1910. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

identical  words,  ending  my  description  with 
remark,   "He   looks   like   a   cross   between   a 


Scotchman  and  an  Irishman. ' '  Even  then  she  could 
not  recall  the  fact.  Von  Bechterew  has  recorded 
the  case  of  a  man  who  frequently  after  hearing  an 
opera  dreamed  the  whole  opera  through.*  One  sub- 
ject of  mine  frequently  dreamed  over  again  in  very 
minute  detail,  after  an  interval  of  eight  or  nine 
months,  the  scenes  attending  the  deathbed  of  a 
relative.  Indeed,  in  the  dream  she  realistically 
lived  them  again  in  a  fashion  similar  to  that  of 
hypnotic  dreams  such  as  I  have  related.  Although 
she  had  not  forgotten  these  scenes  it  is  highly  im- 
probable that  she  could  have  voluntarily  recalled 
them,  particularly  after  the  lapse  of  so  long  a  time, 
without  the  aid  of  the  dream,  so  rich  was  it  in  detail, 
with  each  event  in  its  chronological  order. 

Dream  reproductions,  whether  in  a  symbolic 
form  or  not,  are  too  common  to  need  further  state- 
ment. I  would  merely  point  out  that  the  frequency 
with  which  childhood's  experiences  occur  in  dreams 
is  further  evidence  of  the  conservation  of  these 
early  experiences.  The  symbolic  dream,  cryptic  or 
obvious,  deserves,  however,  special  consideration 
because  of  the  data  it  offers  to  the  problem  of  the 
nature  of  conservation  which  we  shall  later  study. 
In  this  type  of  dream,  if  the  fundamental  principle 
of  the  theory  of  Freud  is  correct,  the  content  is  a 

*  Zentralblatt  f iir  Nervenheilkunde  und  Psychiatric ;  1909,  Heft 
12. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  45 

symbolical  continuation  in  some  form  of  an  antece- 
dent thought  (experience)  of  the  dreamer.*  When 
this  thought,  which  may  be  forgotten,  is  recovered 
the  symbolic  character  of  the  dream,  in  many  cases, 
is  recognized  beyond  reasonable  doubtf  If  this 
principle  is  well  established,  and  nearly  all  investi- 
gators are  in  accord  on  this  point,  though  we  need 
not  always  accept  the  given  interpretation  of  in- 
dividual dreams — if  the  principle  is  sound,  then  it 
follows  that  symbolism  includes  memory  of  the  ori- 
ginal experience  which  must  be  conserved.  So  that 
even  this  type  of  dream  offers  evidence  of  conserva- 
tion of  experiences  for  which  there  may  be  total  loss 
of  memory  (amnesia). 

Before  closing  this  lecture  I  will  return  to  the 
point  which  I  temporarily  passed  by,  namely,  the 
significance  of  the  difference  in  the  form  of  repro- 
duction according  as  whether  it  is  by  automatic 
writing  or  through  associative  memories  in  abstrac- 
tion. In  the  latter  case,  as  we  have  seen,  the  mem- 
ories are  identical  in  form  and  principle  with  those 
of  everyday  life.  They  enter  the  personal  con- 
sciousness and  become  conscious  memories  in  the 
sense  that  the  individual  personally  remembers  the 
experience  in  question.  Abstraction  may  be  re- 
garded simply  as  a  favorable  condition  or  moment 

*  According  to  Freud  and  his  school  it  is  always  the  imaginary 
fulfilment  of  a  suppressed  wish,  almost  always  sexual.  For  our  pur- 
poses it  is  not  necessary  to  inquire  into  the  correctness  of  this  in- 
terpretation or  the  details  of  the  Freudian  theory. 

f  For  an  example,  see  p.  98. 


46  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

when  the  subject  remembers  what  he  had  at  another 
previous  moment  forgotten.  We  have  seen  also 
that  the  same  thing  is  true  of  remembering  in 
hypnosis  (excepting  those  special  realistic  repro- 
ductions when  the  subject  enters  a  dream-like  or 
somnambulistic  state  and  lives  over  again  the  past 
experience  in  question).  In  automatic  writing,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  reproduction  is  by  a  secondary 
process  entirely  separate  and  independent  of  the 
personal  consciousness.  In  the  examples  I  cited  the 
latter  was  in  entire  ignorance  of  the  reproduction 
which  did  not  become  a  personally  conscious  mem- 
ory. At  the  very  same  moment  when  the  experi- 
ences could  not  be  voluntarily  remembered,  and 
without  a  change  in  the  moment's  consciousness, 
something  was  tapped,  as  it  were,  and  thereby  they 
were  graphically  revealed  without  the  knowledge  of 
the  subject,  without  memory  of  them  being  intro- 
duced into  the  personal  consciousness,  and  even 
without  the  subject  being  able  to  remember  the  in- 
cident after  reading  the  automatic  script.  Even 
this  stimulus  failed  to  bring  back  the  desired  phase 
of  consciousness.  It  was  very  much  like  surrepti- 
tiously inserting  your  hand  into  the  pocket  of  an- 
other and  secretly  withdrawing  an  object  which  he 
thinks  he  has  lost.  What  really  happened  was  this : 
a  secondary  process  was  awakened  and  this  process 
(of  which  the  principal  or  personal  consciousness 
was  unaware)  revealed  the  memory  lost  by  the  per- 
sonal consciousness.  At  least  this  is  the  interprets- 


47 

tion  which  is  the  one  which  all  the  phenomena  of 
this  kind  pertaining  to  subconscious  manifestations 
compel  us  to  draw.*  At  any  rate  the  automatic 
script  showed  that  somehow  and  somewhere  outside 
the  personal  consciousness  the  experiences  were  con- 
served and  under  certain  conditions  could  be  repro- 
duced. 

We  now  also  see  that  the  same  principle  of  repro- 
duction by  a  secondary  process  holds  in  hallucina- 
tory phenomena  whether  artificial  or  spontaneous, 
and  in  many  dreams.  When  a  person  looking  into  a 
crystal  sees  a  scene  which  is  a  truthful  pictorial  rep- 
resentation of  an  actual  past  experience  which  he 
does  not  consciously  remember,  it  follows  that  that 
visual  hallucination  must  be  induced  and  con- 
structed by  some  secondary  subconscious  process 
outside  of  and  independent  of  the  processes  in- 
volved in  his  personal  consciousness.  And,  like- 
wise, when  a  dream  is  a  translation  of  a  forgotten 
experience  into  symbolical  terms  it  follows  that 
there  must  be,  underlying  the  dream  consciousness, 
some  subconscious  process  which  continues  and 
translates  the  original  experience  into  and  con- 
structs the  dream. 

This  being  so  we  are  forced  to  two  conclusions: 
first,  in  all  these  types  of  phenomena  the  secondary 
process  must  in  some  way  be  closely  related  to  the 

*  If  the  physiological  interpretation  be  maintained,  i.  e.,  that  the 
script  was  produced  by  a  pure  physiological  process,  this  phenomenon 
would  be  a  crucial  demonstration  of  the  nature  of  conservation,  that 
it  is  in  the  form  of  physical  alterations  in  nervous  structure.  I  do 
not  believe,  however,  that  this  interpretation  can  be  maintained. 


48  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

original  experience  in  order  to  reproduce  it;  and, 
second,  a  mental  experience  must  be  conserved  in 
some  form  which  permits  of  a  subconscious  process 
reproducing  the  experience  in  one  or  other  of  the 
various  forms  in  which  memory  appears.  Further 
than  this  I  will  not  go  at  present,  not  until  we  have 
more  extensively  reviewed  the  number  and  kinds  of 
mental  experiences  that  may  be  conserved.  This 
we  will  do  in  the  next  lecture. 


LECTURE   in 

CONSERVATION    OF    FORGOTTEN    EXPERIENCES    OF 
NORMAL,   ARTIFICIAL,   AND  PATHOLOGICAL  LIFE 

I.    Normal   Life    (Continued) 

I  have  directed  your  attention  up  to  this  point  to 
the  conservation  of  experiences  which  at  the  time 
of  their  occurrence,  although  lost  beyond  voluntary 
recall,  for  the  most  part  occupied  the  focus  of  at- 
tention of  the  individual — were  within  the  full  light 
of  consciousness.  If  these  experiences  were  the 
only  ones  which  were  subject  to  conservation — and 
I  would  have  you  still  bear  in  mind  that  I  am  using 
the  term  only  in  the  limited  sense  of  the  ability  to 
recover  an  experience  in  some  favorable  condition, 
or  moment  of  consciousness,  or  through  some  for- 
tunate or  technical  mode  of  reproduction — if,  I  say, 
these  were  the  only  ones  to  be  conserved,  then  the 
conservation  of  the  experiences  which  make  up  our 
mental  lives  would  be  considerably  curtailed.  It  so 
happens,  however,  that  a  large  part  of  our  mental 
activity  is  occupied  with  acts  of  which  at  the  mo- 
ment we  are  only  dimly  aware — or  half  aware — in 
that  they  do  not  occupy  the  focus  of  attention. 
Some  of  these  are  what  we  call  absent-minded  acts. 
Again,  many  sensations  and  perceptions  do  not  en- 

49 


50  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ter  the  focus  of  attention,  so  that  we  are  either  not 
aware  of  them,  or,  if  we  are,  there  is  so  little  vivid- 
ness attached  to  them  that  they  are  almost  immedi- 
ately lost  to  voluntary  memory.  The  same  is  true 
of  certain  trains  of  thoughts  which  course  through 
the  mind  while  one's  attention  is  concentrated  on 
some  other  line  of  thought.  They  are  sometimes 
described  as  being  in  the  background  of  the  mind. 
Then,  again,  we  have  our  dream  life,  and  that  of 
reverie,  and  the  important  artificial  state  of  hyp- 
nosis ;  also  certain  pathological  states  to  which  some 
individuals  are  subject,  such  as  intoxication,  hys- 
terical crises,  deliria,  and  multiple  personality.  Ac- 
cordingly it  is  important  in  any  investigation  into 
the  extent  of  the  field  of  conservation  to  inquire 
whether  all  this  mental  life  "is  only  fleeting,  eva- 
nescent, psychological  experience,  or  whether  it  is 
subject  to  the  same  principle  of  conservation.  If 
the  latter  be  the  case  it  presages  consequences 
which  are  portentous  in  the  possible  multiplicity 
and  manifoldness  of  the  elements  which  may  enter 
into  and  may  govern  the  mechanism  of  mental  pro- 
cesses. But  let  me  not  get  ahead  of  my  exposition. 

Absent-minded  acts — In  a  study  made  some  time 
ago  I  recorded  the  reproduction,  as  a  crystal  vision, 
of  an  absent-minded  act,  i.  e.,  one  which  had  not  fully 
entered  the  focus  of  consciousness  during  deep  con- 
centration of  the  attention.  It  is  a  type  of  numer- 
ous experiments  of  this  kind  that  I  have  made. 
Miss  B.  is  directed  to  look  into  a  crystal.  She  sees 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  51 

therein  a  vision  of  herself  walking  along  a  particu- 
lar street  in  Boston  in  a  brown  study.  She  sees 
herself  take  out  of  her  pocket  some  bank  notes,  tear 
them  up,  and  throw  them  into  the  street.  Now  this 
artificial  hallucination,  or  vision,  was  a  picture  of 
an  actual  occurrence;  in  an  absent-minded  reverie 
the  subject  had  actually  performed  this  very  act 
under  the  circumstances  portrayed  in  the  vision  and 
had  retained  no  memory  of  it.* 

Similarly  I  have  frequently  recovered  knowledge 
of  the  whereabouts  of  articles  mislaid  absent- 
mindedly.  Sometimes  the  method  used  has  been,  as 
in  the  above  examples,  that  of  crystal  gazing  or 
artificial  hallucinations;  sometimes  hypnotism, 
sometimes  automatic  writing,  etc.  By  the  last  two 
methods  not  only  the  forgotten  acts  but  the  ideas 
and  feelings  which  were  outside  the  focus  of  atten- 
tion, but  in  the  fringe  of  consciousness,  and 
prompted  the  acts  are  described.  It  is  needless  to 
give  the  details  of  the  observations;  it  suffices  to 
say  that  each  minute  detail  of  the  absent-minded 
act  and  the  thoughts  and  feelings  that  determined  it 
are  described  or  mirrored,  as  the  case  may  be.  The 
point  of  importance  is  that  concentration  of  atten- 
tion is  not  essential  for  conservation,  and,  there- 
fore, among  the  vast  mass  of  the  conserved  ex- 
periences of  life  may  be  found  many  which,  though 

*  For  a  full  account  of  this  experiment,  see  An  Experimental 
Study  of  Visions,  Brain,  Winter  Number,  1898;  The  Dissociation, 
pp.  81,  82. 


52  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

once  conscious,  only  entered  the  margin  of  aware- 
ness (not  the  focus  of  attention)  and  never  were 
subject  to  voluntary  recollection.  In  the  absence  of 
attentive  awareness  at  the  time  for  such  an  experi- 
ence (and  therefore  of  recollection),  we  often  can 
only  be  assured  that  it  ever  occurred  by  circumstan- 
tial evidence.  When  this  assurance  is  wanting  we 
are  tempted  to  deny  its  occurrence  and  our  respon- 
sibility, but  experiment  shows  that  the  process  of 
conservation,  like  the  dictagraph,  is  a  more  faithful 
custodian  of  our  experiences  than  are  our  volun- 
tary memories. 

• 

r 

Subconscious  perceptions — It  is  not  difficult  to  show 
that  perceptions  of  the  environment  which  never 
even  entered  the  fringe  of  the  personal  conscious- 
ness, i.  e.,  of  which  the  individual  was  never  even 
dimly  aware,  may  be  conserved.  Indeed,  the  dem- 
onstration of  their  conservation  is  one  of  the  im- 
portant pieces  of  evidence  for  the  occurrence  of  co- 
conscious  perception  and,  therefore,  of  the  splitting 
of  consciousness.  Mrs.  Holland,  both  by  automatic 
writing  and  in  hypnosis,  describes  perceptions  of 
the  environment  (objects  seen,  etc.)  of  which  she 
was  not  aware  at  the  time.  Miss  B.  and  B.  C.  A.  re- 
call, in  hypnosis  and  by  automatic  writing,  para- 
graphs in  the  newspapers  read  through  casual 
glances  without  awareness  thereof.  The  same  is 
true  of  perceptions  of  the  environment  experienced 
under  experimental  conditions  as  well  as  fortui- 
tously. I  have  made  a  large  number  of  experiments 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  53 

and  other  observations  of  this  kind,  and  have  been 
in  the  habit  of  demonstrating  before  the  students  at 
my  lectures  this  evidence  of  coconscious  perception. 
A  simple  method  is  to  ask  a  suitable  subject  to  de- 
scribe the  dress  of  some  person  in  the  audience,  or 
of  objects  in  the  environment;  if  he  is  unable  to  do 
this,  then  to  attempt  to  obtain  as  minute  a  descrip- 
tion as  possible  by  automatic  writing  or  verbally 
after  he  has  been  hypnotized.  It  is  often  quite  sur- 
prising to  note  with  what  detail  the  objects  which  al- 
most entirely  escaped  conscious  observation  are  sub- 
consciously perceived  and  remembered.  Sometimes 
the  descriptions  of  my  students  have  been  quite  em- 
barrassing from  their  na'ive  truthfulness  to  nature. 

The  following  is  an  example  of  such  an  observa- 
tion: I  asked  B.  C.  A.  (without  warning  and  after 
having  covered  her  eyes)  to  describe  the  dress  of  a 
friend  who  was  present  and  with  whom  she  had 
been  conversing  for  perhaps  some  twenty  minutes. 
She  was  unable  to  do  so  beyond  saying  that  he  wore 
dark  clothes.  I  then  found  that  I  myself  was  unable 
to  give  a  more  detailed  description  of  his  dress,  al- 
though we  had  lunched  and  been  together  about  two 
hours.  B.  C.  A.  was  then  asked  to  write  a  descrip- 
tion automatically.  Her  hand  wrote  as  follows  (she 
was  unaware  that  her  hand  was  writing) : 

' '  He  has  on  a  dark  greenish  gray  suit,  a  stripe  in 
it — little  rough  stripe;  black  bow-cravat;  shirt  with 
three  little  stripes  in  it;  black  laced  shoes;  false 
teeth;  one  finger  gone;  three  buttons  on  his  coat." 

The  written  description  was  absolutely  correct. 


54  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

The  stripes  in  the  coat  were  almost  invisible.  I 
had  not  noticed  his  teeth  or  the  loss  of  a  finger  and 
we  had  to  count  the  buttons  to  make  sure  of  their 
number  owing  to  their  partial  concealment  by  the 
folds  of  the  unbuttoned  coat.  The  shoe  strings  I  am 
sure,  under  the  conditions,  would  have  escaped 
nearly  everyone's  observation. 

Subconscious  perceptions  even  more  than  absent- 
minded  acts  offer  some  of  the  most  interesting  phe- 
nomena of  conservation,  for  these  phenomena  give 
evidence  of  the  ability,  under  certain  conditions,  to 
reproduce,  in  one  mode  or  another,  experiences 
which  were  never  a  phase  of  the  personal  conscious- 
ness, never  entered  even  the  fringe  of  the  content 
of  this  consciousness  and  of  which,  therefore,  we 
were  never  aware.  For  this  reason  they  are  not, 
properly  speaking,  forgotten  experiences.  Their 
reproduction  sometimes  produces  dramatic  effects. 
The  following  is  an  instance :  B.  C.  A.,  waking  one 
night  out  of  a  sound  sleep,  saw  a  vision  of  a  young 
girl  dressed  in  white,  standing  at  the  foot  of  her 
bed.  The  vision  was  extraordinarily  vivid,  the  face 
so  distinct  that  she  was  able  to  give  a  detailed  de- 
scription of  it.  She  had  no  recollection  of  having 
seen  the  face  before,  and  it  awakened  no  sense  of 
familiarity.  Suspecting,  for  certain  reasons,  the 
figure  to  be  that  of  a  young  girl  who  had  recently 
died  and  whom  I  knew  that  B.  C.  A.  had  never 
known  and  was  not  aware  that  she  had  ever  seen,  I 
placed  before  her  a  collection  of  a  dozen  or  more 
photographs  of  different  people  among  which  was 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  55 

one  of  this  girl.  This  photograph  she  picked  out 
as  the  one  which  most  resembled  the  vision  (it  was 
a  poor  likeness)  and  automatic  writing  confirmed 
most  positively  the  choice.  Now  it  transpired  that 
she  had  passed  by  this  girl  on  one  occasion  while 
the  latter  was  talking  to  me  in  the  hall  of  my  house, 
but  she  had  purposely,  for  certain  reasons,  not 
looked  at  her.  Subconsciously,  however,  she  had 
seen  her  since  she  could  give,  both  in  hypnosis  and 
by  automatic  writing,  an  accurate  account  of  the 
incident,  which  I  also  remembered.  B.  C.  A.,  how- 
ever, had  no  recollection  of  it.  The  subconscious 
perception  was  later  reproduced  (after  having 
undergone  secondary  elaboration)  as  a  vision. 

Similarly  I  have  known  paragraphs  read  in  the 
newspapers  out  of  the  corner  of  her  eye,  so  to  speak, 
and  probably  by  casual  glances,  not  only,  as  I  have 
said,  to  be  recalled  in  hypnosis  and  by  automatic 
writing,  but  to  be  reproduced  with  more  or  less 
elaboration  in  her  dreams.  She  had,  as  the  evidence 
showed,  no  awareness  at  the  time  of  having  read 
these  paragraphs  and  no  after  recollection  of  the 
same. 

Experimentally,  as  I  have  said,  it  is  possible  to 
demonstrate  other  phenomena  which  are  the  same 
in  principle.  The  experiment  consists,  after  sur- 
reptitiously placing  objects  under  proper  precau- 
tions in  the  peripheral  field  of  vision,  in  having  the 
subject  fix  his  eyes  on  central  vision  and  his  atten- 
tion distracted  from  the  environment  by  intense 
concentration  or  reading.  Immediately  after  re- 


56  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

moving  the  objects  it  is  determined  that  the  subject 
did  not  consciously  perceive  them.  But  in  hypno- 
sis or  by  other  methods  it  is  found  that  memory  for 
perceptions  of  the  peripheral  objects  returns,  i.  e., 
the  perceptions  are  reproduced.  Auditory  stimuli 
may  be  used  as  tests  with  similar  results. 

Likewise,  with  Miss  B.,  I  have  frequently  ob- 
tained reproductions  of  perceptions  of  which  at  the 
time  she  was  unaware.  This  has  been  either  under 
similar  experimental  conditions,  or  under  acciden- 
tal circumstances  when  I  could  confirm  the  accuracy 
of  the  reproductions.  For  instance,  to  cite  one  out 
of  numerous  examples,  on  one  occasion  I  saw  her 
pass  by  in  the  street  while  I  was  standing  on  the 
door-step  of  a  house  some  fifteen  or  twenty  feet 
away,  well  outside  the  line  of  her  central  vision. 
She  was  in  a  brown  study.  I  called  to  her  three 
times  saying,  '  *  Good  morning,  Miss  B., ' '  laying  the 
accent  each  time  on  a  different  word.  She  did  not 
hear  me  and  later  had  no  recollection  of  the  episode. 
In  hypnosis  she  recalled  the  circumstances  accu- 
rately and  reproduced  my  words  with  the  accents 
properly  placed.  Such  observations  and  experi- 
ments I  have  frequently  made.  They  can  be  varied 
indefinitely  in  form  and  condition. 

The  phenomenon  of  subconscious  perception  of 
sensory  stimulations  applied  to  anesthetic  areas 
tactile,  visual,  etc.),  in  hysterics,  first  demon- 
strated by  Janet,  is  of  the  same  order,  but  has  been 
so  often  described  that  only  a  reference  to  it  is  nec- 
essary. I  mention  examples  here  merely  that  the 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  57 

different  kinds  of  phenomena  that  may  be  brought 
within  the  sphere  of  memory  shall  be  mentioned. 
For  instance,  Mrs.  E.  B.*  has  an  hysterical  loss  of 
sensibility  in  the  hand  which,  in  consequence,  can  be 
severely  pinched  or  pricked,  or  an  object  placed  in 
it,  etc.,  without  her  being  aware  of  the  fact.  Not- 
withstanding this  absence  of  awareness  these  tactile 
experiences  were  conserved  since  an  accurate  de- 
tailed memory  of  them  is  recovered  in  hypnosis,  or 
manifested  through  automatic  writing.  The  same 
phenomenon  can  be  demonstrated  in  Mrs.  E.,  whose 
right  arm  is  anesthetic.!  The  same  conservation  of 
subconscious  perceptions  can  be  experimentally 
demonstrated  during  automatic  writing.  At  such 
times  the  writing  hand  becomes  anesthetic  and  if  a 
screen  is  interposed  so  that  the  subject  cannot  see 
the  hand  he  is  not  aware  of  any  stimulations  applied 
to  it.  Nevertheless  such  sensory  stimulations — a 
prick  or  a  pinch  or  more  complicated  impressions- 
are  conserved,  for  the  hand  will  accurately  describe 
all  that  is  done. 

An  observation  which  I  made  on  one  of  my  sub- 
jects probably  belongs  here  rather  than  to  the  pre- 
ceding types.  Several  different  objects  were  suc- 
cessively brought  into  the  field  of  vision,  but  so  far 
toward  the  periphery  that  they  could  not  be  suffi- 
ciently clearly  seen  to  be  identified.  In  hypnosis, 
however,  they  were  accurately  described,  showing 

*  The  Dissociation,  p.  77. 

f  For  numerous  observations  of  this  kind,  see  Pierre  Janet :  The 
Mental  States  of  Hystericals. 


58  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  conservation  of  perceptions  that  did  not  enter  the 
vivid  awareness  or  clear  perception  of  the  subject. 

It  is  true,  as  a  study  of  the  coconscious  would 
show,  that  such  phenomena  of  anesthesia  and  un- 
recognized perceptions  are  dependent  upon  a  dis- 
sociation of  consciousness  and  upon  coconscious 
perception.  But  this  is  a  matter  of  mechanism  with 
which  we  are  not  now  concerned.  The  point  simply 
is  that  subconscious  perceptions  which  never  en- 
tered the  awareness  of  the  personal  consciousness 
may  be  conserved. 

I  will  cite  one  more  observation,  one  in  which  the 
reproduction  was  through  secondary  translation, 
as  we  shall  see  later  that  it  belongs  to  a  class  which 
enables  us  to  determine  the  nature  of  conservation. 

B.  C.  A.,  actuated  by  curiosity,  looked  into  a  crys- 
tal and  saw  there  some  printed  words  which  had  no 
meaning  for  her  whatever  and  awakened  no  mem- 
ory of  any  previous  experience.  It  was  afterward 
found  that  these  words  represented  a  cablegram 
message  which  she  unconsciously  overheard  while 
it  was  being  transmitted  over  the  telephone  to  the 
telegraph  office  by  my  secretary  in  the  next  room. 
She  had  no  recollection  of  having  heard  the  words, 
as  she  was  absorbed  in  reading  a  book  at  the  time. 
The  correctness  of  the  visual  reproduction  is  shown, 
not  only  by  automatic  writing  which  remembered 
and  recorded  the  whole  experience,  but  also  by  com- 
parison with  the  original  cablegram. 

Again,  in  other  experiments  there  appear,  in  the 
crystal,  visions  rich  in  detail  of  persons  whom  she 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  59 

does  not  remember  having  seen,  although  it  can  be 
proved  that  she  actually  has  seen  them. 

The  reproduction  of  subconscious  perceptions  and 
forgotten  knowledge  in  dreams,  visions,  hypnosis, 
trance  states,  by  automatic  writing,  etc.,  is  interest- 
ing apart  from  the  theory  of  memory.  Facts  of 
this  kind  offer  a  rational  interpretation  of  many 
well-authenticated  phenomena  exploited  in  spiritis- 
tic literature.  Much  of  the  surprising  information 
given  by  planchette,  table  rapping,  and  similar  de- 
vices commonly  employed  by  mediums,  depends 
upon  the  translation  of  forgotten  dormant  experi- 
ences into  manifestations  of  this  sort.  In  clinical 
medicine,  too,  we  can  often  learn,  through  repro- 
ductions obtained  by  special  methods  of  investiga- 
tion, the  origin  of  obsessions  and  other  ideas  which 
otherwise  are  unintelligible. 

Dreams  and  somnambulisms. — Many  people  remember 
their  dreams  poorly  or  not  at  all,  and,  in  the  latter 
case,  are  under  the  belief  that  they  do  not  dream. 
But  often  circumstantial  evidence,  such  as  talking 
in  their  sleep,  shows  that  they  do  dream.  Now, 
though  ordinarily  they  cannot  remember  the 
dreams,  by  changing  the  waking  state  to  an  hyp- 
notic one,  or  through  the  device  of  crystal  visions  or 
automatic  writing,  it  is  possible  in  some  people  to 
reproduce  the  whole  dream.  Amnesia  for  dreams, 
therefore,  cannot  be  taken  as  evidence  that  they  do 
not  occur,  and  forgotten  dream  consciousness  is 
subject  to  the  same  principles  of  conservation  and 


60  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

reproduction  as  the  experiences  of  waking  life. 
Thus  in  B.  C.  A.  dreams  totally  forgotten  on  awak- 
ening are  easily  recovered  in  hypnosis  and  in  crys- 
tal visions.*  In  the  case  of  M 1,  which  I  cited  to 

you  a  little  while  ago,  the  forgotten  dream  in  which 
he  lived  over  again  the  original  episode  which  led  to 
the  development  of  his  hysterical  condition  and 
which  when  repeated  in  the  dream  induced  each 
successive  attack,  was  easily  recovered  in  hypnosis. 
The  same  was  true  of  the  forgotten  dreams  of  Mrs. 
H.  and  Miss  B. 

The  reproduction  of  nocturnal  somnambulistic 
acts  and  the  ideas  which  occupied  the  content  of 
consciousness  of  the  somnambulist  can  be  effected 
in  the  same  manner.  I  have  quite  a  collection  of 
observation  of  this  kind.  In  the  study  of  visions,! 
to  which  I  have  already  referred,  may  be  found  the 
observation  where  Miss  B.,  looking  into  a  crystal, 
sees  herself  walking  in  her  sleep  and  hiding  some 
money  under  a  tablecloth  and  books  lying  on  the 
table.  The  money  (which  was  supposed  to  have 
been  lost)  was  found  where  it  was  seen  in  the 
vision. 

In  my  notebook  are  the  records  of  numerous  arti- 
ficial hallucinations  of  this  kind  which  reproduce 
sleep-walking  acts  of  B.  C.  A.  To  cite  one  instance : 
in  the  crystal  she  sees  herself  arise  from  her  bed, 
turn  on  the  lights,  descend  the  stairs,  enter  one  of 
the  lower  rooms,  sit  by  the  fire  in  deep,  pensive  re- 

*  The  Mechanism  and  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  loc.  cit. 
f  Loc.  cit.     See  p.  51. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  61 

flection,  then  get  up  and  dance  merrily  as  her  som- 
nambulistic mood  changes.  Presently,  as  the  cine- 
matograph-like picture  unfolds  itself  in  the  crystal, 
she  sees  herself  go  to  the  writing  table,  write  two 
letters,  ascend  the  stairs,  dropping  one  letter  on  the 
way,*  r center  her  room,  open  a  glove  box,  place  the 
remaining  letter  under  the  gloves,  and  finally  put 
out  the  lights  and  get  into  bed  when,  with  the  ad- 
vent of  sleep,  the  vision  ends.  In  the  vision  the 
changing  expression  of  her  face  displays  each  suc- 
cessive mood.  In  hypnosis  also  the  scene  is  remem- 
bered and  then  even  the  thoughts  which  accompa- 
nied each  act  of  the  somnambulist  are  described. 
Here  again,  then,  we  have  evidence  that  even  for- 
gotten dreams  and  somnambulistic  thoughts  are  not 
lost  but  under  certain  special  conditions  can  be  re- 
vived in  one  mode  or  another. 

II.    Forgotten  Experiences  of  Artificial  and  Pathological 

States 

The  experiences  that  I  have  thus  far  cited  in  evi- 
dence of  the  principle  of  the  conservation  of  dor- 
mant experiences  that  cannot  be  voluntarily  re- 
called have  been  drawn  almost  entirely  from  normal 
everyday  life.  We  now  come  to  a  series  of  facts 
which  are  very  important  in  that  they  show  that 
what  is  true  of  the  experiences  of  everyday  life  is 
also  true  of  those  of  artificial  and  pathological 
states  of  which  the  normal  personal  consciousness 
has  no  cognizance.  These  facts  are  also  vital  for 

*  See  Lecture  VI,  p.  185. 


62  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  comprehension  of  post-hypnotic  phenomena,  of 
amnesia,  multiple  personality,  and  allied  dissoci- 
ated states.  Let  us  consider  some  of  the  states 
from  the  point  of  view  of  conservation. 

Artificial  states. — After  a  person  passes  from  one 
dissociated  state  to  another,  or  from  a  dissociated 
state  to  the  full  waking  state,  it  is  commonly  found 
that  there  is  amnesia  for  the  previous  state.  This 
is  a  general  principle.  The  forgetting  of  dreams  is 
an  example  from  normal  life.  For  the  psychological 
state  of  sleep  in  which  dreams  occur  is  one  of  nor- 
mal dissociation  of  consciousness  by  which  the  per- 
ception of  the  environment,  and  the  great  mass  of 
life's  experiences,  can  no  longer  be  brought  within 
the  content  of  the  dream  consciousness.  Hence 
there  is  a  general  tendency  to  the  development  of 
amnesia  for  dreams  after  waking  when  the  normal 
synthesis  of  the  personality  has  been  established. 
Yet,  as  we  have  seen,  forgotten  dreams  can  gener- 
ally be  recalled  in  hypnosis  or  by  some  other  techni- 
cal method  (e.  g.,  crystal  visions  and  abstraction). 
Now  hypnosis  is  an  artificially  dissociated  state. 
After  passing  from  one  hypnotic  state  to  another,* 
or  after  waking,  it  is  very  common  to  find  complete 

*  Gurney  was  among  the  first  to  demonstrate  the  induction  of 
several  states  in  the  same  subject.  He  was  able  to  obtain  three  dif- 
ferent hypnotic  states  (Proceedings  S.  P.  K.,  Vol.  IV,  p.  515),  and 
Mrs.  Sidgwick  and  Miss  Johnson  eight  in  one  individual,  each  with 
amnesia  for  the  other.  Janet,  of  course,  demonstrated  the  same 
phenomena.  In  the  cases  of  Miss  B  and  B.  C.  A.  I  obtained  a  large 
number  of  such  states. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  63 

amnesia  for  the  whole  of  the  experience  belonging  to 
the  previous  hypnotic  state.  By  no  effort  whatso- 
ever can  it  be  recalled  and  this  inability  persists 
during  the  remainder  of  the  life  of  the  subject.  And 
yet  those  hypnotic  experiences  may  have  been  very 
extensive,  particularly  if  the  subject  has  been  hyp- 
notized a  great  many  times.  Nevertheless,  it  is 
easy  to  demonstrate  that  they  are  conserved  and 
therefore,  like  all  conserved  experiences,  potentially 
still  existing,  subject  to  recall  under  favoring  con- 
ditions ;  for,  as  is  well  known,  if  the  subject  be  re- 
hypnotized  they  are  recalled  as  normal  memories. 
With  the  restitution  of  the  hypnotic  state  the  mem- 
ories which  were  dormant  become  synthesized  with 
the  hypnotic  personality  and  conscious. 

The  method  of  producing  crystal  visions  may  also 
be  used  to  demonstrate  the  dormant  conservation  of 
experiences  originating  in  hypnotic  states.  By  this 
method  and  that  of  automatic  writing,  as  I  have 
already  explained,  the  memories  may  be  made  to 
reveal  themselves,  without  inducing  recollection,  at 
the  very  moment  when  the  subject  cannot  voluntar- 
ily recall  them.  The  subject,  of  course,  being  ig- 
norant of  what  happened  in  hypnosis  cannot  recog- 
nize the  visions  as  pictorial  memories.  In  illustra- 
tion of  this  I  would  recall  the  observation  in  the 
case  of  Miss  B.  where,  in  such  an  artificial  vision, 
she  saw  herself  sitting  on  a  sofa  smoking  a  cigar- 
ette.* This  vision  represented  an  incident  which 

*  Morton  Prince:  The  Dissociation,  p.  55;  also  An  Experimental 
Study  of  Visions,  Brain,  Winter  Number,  1898. 


64  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

occurred  during  one  of  the  subject's  hypnotic  states 
when  she  had  smoked  a  cigarette.  Naturally  Miss 
B.,  in  her  ignorance  of  the  facts,  denied  the  truth- 
fulness of  the  vision.  Other  examples  of  a  like 
kind  might  be  cited  if  it  were  necessary. 

By  automatic  writing,  also,  evidence  of  the  same 
principle  may  be  obtained.  The  conserved  mem- 
ories are  tapped,  so  to  speak.  Thus  I  suggest  to 
Mrs.  R.  in  hypnosis  that  after  waking  she  shall 
write  certain  verses  or  sentences.  After  being 
awakened  she  reproduces  automatically,  as  di- 
rected, the  desired  verses  or  sentences  which,  of 
course,  belonged  to  her  hypnotic  experiences.*  In 
other  words,  although  the  personal  consciousness 
did  not  remember  the  hypnotic  experience  of  hav- 
ing received  the  command  and  of  having  given  the 
promise  to  write  the  verses,  etc.,  the  automatic  writ- 
ing by  the  act  of  fulfilling  the  command  showed  that 
all  this  was  conserved;  here  again  was  evidence  of 
conservation,  in  some  form,  of  an  experience  at  the 
verymomentwhenthe  personalconsciousness  was  un- 
able to  voluntarily  recall  what  had  taken  place  in  hyp- 
nosis. Such  experiments  may  be  varied  indefinitely. 

The  following  is  an  instance  of  the  same  phe- 
nomenon obtained  by  tapping  without  the  use  of 
previous  suggestion  in  hypnosis:  subject  B.  C.  A. 
One  of  the  hypnotic  states,  b,  was  waked  up  to  be- 
come B,  this  change  being  followed,  as  usual,  by  am- 

*  Some  of  the  Eevelations  of  Hypnotism,  Boston  Medical  and 
Surgical  Journal,  May  22,  1890. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  65 

nesia.  By  means  of  automatic  writing  an  accurate 
account  was  now  obtained  of  the  experiences  which 
had  taken  place  during  the  previous  moments  in 
hypnosis,  the  subject  being  unaware  of  what  the 
hand  wrote.  Here  were  complete  memories  of  the 
whole  period  of  which  the  personal  consciousness, 
B,  had  no  knowledge.  One  of  the  most  striking,  not 
to  say  dramatic,  demonstrations  of  this  kind  can 
sometimes  be  obtained  in  cases  exhibiting  several 
different  hypnotic  states.  For  instance:  "c"  and 
"b"  are  two  different  hypnotic  phases  belonging 
to  the  same  individual  (B.  C.  A.),  c  knows  nothing 
of  the  experiences  of  b,  and  b  nothing  of  c,  each  hav- 
ing amnesia  for  the  other.  Now  one  has  only  to 
whisper  in  the  ear  of  c,  asking  a  question  of  b,  and 
at  once,  by  automatic  speech,  the  dormant  b  phase 
responds,  giving  such  information  as  is  sought  in 
proof  of  the  conservation  of  any  given  experience 
belonging  to  the  tapped  b  phase.  The  consciousness 
of  c  apparently  continues  uninterruptedly  during 
the  experiment.  The  same  evidence  could  be  ob- 
tained by  automatic  writing  under  the  same  condi- 
tions. Again  in  the  b  phase  another  state  known  as 
"Alpha  and  Omega"  can  be  tapped,  giving  similar 
evidence  of  conservation.  In  the  case  of  Miss  B. 
the  same  phenomena  could  be  elicited.  In  this  respect 
hypnotic  states  may  show  the  same  behavior  as  alter- 
nating personalities  of  which  I  shall  presently  speak. 
Suggested  post-hypnotic  phenomena  depend,  in 
part,  on  the  conservation  of  dormant  complexes.  In 
hypnosis  I  give  a  suggestion  that  the  subject  on 


66  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

waking  shall,  at  a  given  moment,  take  a  cigarette 
and  smoke  it.  There  is  thus  formed  a  complex  of 
ideas  which  becomes  dormant  and  forgotten  after 
waking.  Later,  by  some  mechanism  which  we  need 
not  inquire  into  now,  the  ideas  of  the  dormant  com- 
plex enter  the  field  of  the  personal  self;  the  idea  of 
smoking  a  cigarette  arises  therein  and  the  subject 
puts  the  idea  into  execution.  These  consequences  of 
the  suggestion  could  not  occur  unless  the  expe- 
riences were  conserved.  Or,  we  may  take  an  ex- 
periment where  the  hypnotic  experiences  are  repro- 
duced automatically  by  writing.  Here  the  conserved 
experiences  form  a  secondary  system  split  off  from 
the  personal  consciousness.  This  system  repro- 
duces the  hypnotic  experiences  as  memory  outside 
of  the  personal  consciousness. 

From  a  practical  point  of  view  this  principle  of 
the  conservation  of  the  experiences  of  the  hypnotic 
state  is  of  the  utmost  importance.  The  fact  that  a 
person  does  not  remember  them  on  waking — if  such 
be  the  case — is  of  little  consequence  in  principle, 
and,  practically,  this  amnesia  does  not  preclude 
these  experiences  from  influencing  the  waking  per- 
sonality. As  experiences  and  potential  memories 
they  all  belong  to  and  are  part  of  the  personality. 
The  hypnotic  experiences  being  conserved  our  per- 
sonality may  still  be  modified  and  determined  in  its 
judgments,  points  of  view,  and  attitudes  by  them,  as 
by  other  unrecognized  memories  when  such  modifi- 
cations have  been  effected  in  the  hypnotic  state. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  67 

When  the  last  is  the  case  the  hypnotically  modified 
judgments,  etc.,  may  introduce  themselves  into 
the  content  of  consciousness  in  the  waking  state  by 
association  without  being  recognized  as  memories. 
There  may  be  no  recollection  of  the  source  of  the 
new  ideas,  of  the  reason  for  the  modification  of  a 
given  judgment  or  attitude  of  mind,  because  there  is 
no  recollection  of  the  hypnotic  state  as  a  whole; 
but  so  far  as  the  new  judgment  or  attitude  is  a  re- 
production of  an  hypnotic  experience  it  is  memory, 
although  not  perfect  memory  or  recollection  in  the 
sense  of  localizing  the  experience  in  the  past. 

This  principle  can  easily  be  demonstrated  experi- 
mentally. It  is  only  necessary,  for  instance,  to  state 
to  a  suitably  suggestible  subject  that  the  weather, 
with  which  previously  he  was  discontented  is,  after 
all,  fine;  for  although  it  is  raining,  still,  the  crops 
need  rain ;  it  will  allay  the  dust  and  make  motoring 
pleasant,  it  will  give  him  an  opportunity  to  finish 
his  neglected  correspondence,  etc.  The  whole  pros- 
pect, he  is  told,  is  pleasing.  He  accepts,  we  assume, 
the  new  point  of  view.  He  is  then  waked  up  and  has 
complete  amnesia  for  the  experience.  Now  these 
ideas,  developed  in  the  hypnotic  state,  are  con- 
served as  potential  memories.  Though  with  the 
change  of  the  moment-consciousness  they  cannot  be 
voluntarily  recalled,  they  have  entered  into  associa- 
tions to  form  a  new  viewpoint.  Just  speak  to  him 
about  the  weather  and  watch  the  result.  His  dis- 
content has  disappeared  and  given  place  to  satisfac- 
tion. He  expresses  himself  as  quite  pleased  with 


68  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  weather  and  gives  the  same  reasons  for  his  sat- 
isfaction as  were  suggested  to  and  accepted  by  him 
in  hypnosis.  He  does  not  recognize  his  new  views 
as  reproductions,  i.  e.,  memories,. of  previous  experi- 
ences because  he  has  no  recollection  of  the  hypnotic 
state.  He  does  not  remember  when  and  how  he 
changed  his  mind;  but  these  experiences  have  de- 
termined his  views  because  they  have  become  a  part 
of  his  conscious  system  of  thought.  The  principle 
applies  to  a  large  part  of  our  judgments  not  formed 
in  hypnosis.  There  is  nothing  very  remarkable 
about  it.  The  process  is  similar  to  that  of  ordinary 
thought  though  it  has  had  an  artificial  and  differ- 
ent origin.  The  complex  of  ideas  having  been 
formed  in  hypnosis  still  remains  organized  and 
some  of  its  elements  enter  the  complexes  of  the  per- 
sonal consciousness,  just  as  in  normal  life  ideas  of 
buried  experiences  of  which  we  have  no  recollection 
intrude  themselves  from  time  to  time  and  shape  our 
judgments  and  the  current  of  our  thoughts  without 
our  realizing  what  has  determined  our  mental  proc- 
esses. We  have  forgotten  the  source  of  our  judg- 
ments, but  this  forgetfulness  does  not  affect  the 
mechanism  of  the  process. 

Pathological  states — In  the  functional  amnesias  of 
a  pathological  character  we  find  the  same  phenome- 
non of  conservation.  Various  types  of  amnesia  are 
encountered.  I  will  specify  only  the  episodic, 
epochal,  and  the  continuous,  so  commonly  observed 
in  hysteria.  This  field  has  been  threshed  over  by 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  69 

many  observers  and  I  need  refer  only  to  a  few  in- 
stances as  illustrations.  In  the  first  two  types  the 
experiences  which  are  forgotten  may  have  occurred 
during  the  previous  normal  condition.  In  the  epi- 
sodic the  particular  episode  which  is  forgotten  may 
have  been,  strangely  enough,  one  which  from  the 
very  important  part  it  played  in  the  life  of  the  sub- 
ject and  its  peculiar  impressiveness  and  signifi- 
cance we  should  expect  would  be  necessarily  remem- 
bered, especially  as  memory  in  other  respects  is  nor- 
mal. But  for  the  same  reasons  it  is  not  surprising 
to  find  that  the  experience  has  been  conserved  some- 
how and  somewhere  although  it  cannot  be  recalled. 
The  classical  cases  of  Fraulein  0.  and  Lucy  E.  re- 
ported by  Breuer  and  Freud  *  are  typical. 

From  my  own  collection  of  cases  I  will  cite  the 
following  episode  from  the  case  of  B.  C.  A.  This 
subject  received  a  mental  shock  as  the  result  of  an 
emotional  conflict  of  a  distressing  character.  This 
experience  was  the  exciting  factor  in  the  develop- 
ment of  her  psychosis,  a  dissociation  of  personality. 
In  the  resulting  "neurasthenic"  state,  although  her 
memory  was  normal  for  all  other  experiences  of  her 
life,  this  particular  episode  with  all  its  manifold  de- 
tails, notwithstanding  its  great  significance  in  her 
life,  completely  dropped  out  of  her  memory.f 

This  incident  was  a  very  intimate  one  and  it  is 
not  necessary  to  give  the  details.  When  put  to  the 

*  Studien  iiber  Hysteric. 

f  Of  course  I  am  not  discussing  here  the  genetic  mechanism  of 
the  amnesia,  being  concerned  only  with  the  principle  of  conservation. 


70  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

test  all  effort  to  recall  the  episode  voluntarily  is 
without  result,  and  even  suggestions  in  two  hypnotic 
states  fail  to  awaken  it  in  those  states.  Yet  when  a 
pencil  is  put  in  her  hand  these  memories  are  made  to 
manifest  themselves  by  automatic  writing.  During 
the  writing  the  subject  remains  in  a  perfectly  alert 
state  but  is  unaware  of  what  her  hand  is  doing.  At  a 
later  period  after  the  subject  had  been  restored  to  the 
normal  condition  she  could  voluntarily  recall  these 
memories  thus,  again,  showing  their  conservation. 

One  other  example  of  episodic  amnesia  I  will  cite, 
inasmuch  as,  aside  from  the  question  of  conserva- 
tion, it  is  of  practical  importance,  being  typical  of 
experiences  which  lead  to  obsessions  of  phobia. 
The  subject,  0.  N.,  had  an  intense  fear  of  towers 
such  as  might  contain  bells  that  might  ring.  She 
had  no  recollection  of  the  first  occasion  when  the 
fear  occurred  or  of  any  experience  which  might 
have  given  rise  to  it,  and,  of  course,  could  give  no 
explanation  of  the  obsession.  Neither  in  abstrac- 
tion or  hypnosis  could  any  related  memories  be 
evoked,  but  by  automatic  writing  she  "uncon- 
sciously" described  an  emotional  and  dramatic 
scene  which  was  the  occasion  of  the  first  occurrence 
of  the  fear  and  which  had  taken  place  some  twenty- 
five  years  previously  when  she  was  a  young  girl. 

With  the  reason  for  the  amnesia  we  are  not  par- 
ticularly concerned  at  present  excepting  so  far  as 
it  serves  to  make  clear  the  distinction  between  recol- 
lection and  conservation,  and  to  throw  light  on  the 
nature  of  the  latter.  The  episodes  in  both  these  in- 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  71 

stances  were  of  a  strongly  emotional  character. 
Now  we  have  known  for  many  years  from  numerous 
observations  that  emotion  tends  to  disrupt  the  mind 
and  to  dissociate  the  experiences  which  give  rise 
to  the  affective  state  so  that  they  cannot  be  brought 
back  into  consciousness.  We  may  particularize 
further  and,  making  use  of  the  known  impulsive 
force  of  emotion,  attribute  the  dissociation  (or  inhi- 
bition) in  many  cases  to  a  conflict  between  certain 
ideas  belonging  to  the  experience  and  other  oppos- 
ing ideas  which,  with  the  emotion,  they  have  awak- 
ened. The  impulsive  force  of  the  latter  ideas,  being 
the  stronger,  dissociates,  or,  to  use  the  expressive 
term  introduced  by  Freud,  represses,  the  former. 
The  principle  of  dissociation  by  conflict  has  been 
formulated  and  elaborated  by  Freud  in  his  well- 
known  theory  which  has  been  made  use  of  to  explain 
all  functional  amnesias.  It  is  not  necessary  to  go  as 
far  as  that,  nor  does  the  theory  as  such  concern  us 
now.  It  is  sufficient  if  in  certain  cases  the  amnesia 
(or  dissociation)  is  a  dissociation  (repression)  in- 
duced by  the  conative  force  of  conflicting  emotion. 
If  so  we  should  expect  that  the  amnesia  would  be 
of  a  temporary  nature  and  would  continue  only  so 
long  as  the  conflict  and  dissociating  force  continued. 
In  any  favorable  moment  when  repression  ceased  or 
failed  to  be  operative,  as  in  hypnosis  or  abstraction, 
reproduction  (recollection)  could  occur.  But  this 
requires  that  the  registration  of  the  experience 
should  be  something  specific  that  can  be  dissociated 
without  obliteration.  And,  further,  it  must  be  some- 


72  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

thing  that  can  be  so  conserved,  somehow  and  some- 
where, during  dissociation  that,  as  in  the  case  of 
reproduction  by  automatic  writing,  it  can  escape  the 
influence  of  the  repressing  force  and  express  itself 
autonomously,  i.  e.,  without  the  expressed  memory 
of  the  experience  entering  the  personal  conscious- 
ness. To  this  we  shall  return  later. 

In  the  two  examples  I  have  cited,  if  my  interpre- 
tation is  correct,  the  amnesia  was  due  to  dissocia- 
tion by  conflict  and  hence  the  conservation,  as  is  the 
rule  in  functional  dissociation,  and  the  reproduc- 
tion by  automatic  writing.  This  principle  of  dis- 
sociation by  conflict  and  of  conservation  of  the  dis- 
sociated remembrances  is  of  great  practical  impor- 
tance as  we  shall  see  in  later  lectures.  It  can  be 
best  studied  experimentally  with  cases  of  multiple 
personality.  In  the  case  of  Miss  B.  numerous  ex- 
amples of  amnesia  from  conflict  were  observed. 
Owing  to  the  precise  organization  of  the  conscious- 
ness into  two  distinct  personalities  it  was  possible 
to  definitely  determine  beyond  question  the  antago- 
nistic ideas  of  one  personality  which  voluntarily  in- 
duced the  conflict  and,  by  the  impulsive  force  of  their 
emotion,  caused  the  amnesia  in  the  other  personal- 
ity.* The  same  phenomena  were  observed  in  the 
case  of  B.  C.  A.  As  memory  for  the  forgotten  expe- 
riences in  these  instances  returned  as  soon  as  the 
conflict  ceased,  conservation  of  them  necessarily 
persisted  during  the  amnesia. 

*  The  Dissociation,  pp.  284-5,  456-9. 


FORGOTTEN    EXPERIENCES  73 

Perhaps  I  may  be  permitted  to  digress  here 
slightly  to  point  out  that  this  same  (in  principle) 
phenomenon  may  be  effected  experimentally  by  sug- 
gestion. The  suggested  idea  which  has  the  force  of 
a  volition  or  unexpressed  wish,  coming  in  conflict 
with  the  knowledge  of  previously  familiar  facts,  in- 
hibits or  represses  the  reproduction  in  conscious- 
ness of  this  knowledge  as  memory.  It  is  easy  to 
prove,  however,  that  this  knowledge  is  conserved 
though  it  cannot  be  recalled.  Thus,  I  give  appro- 
priate suggestions  to  B.  C.  A.  in  hypnosis  that  she 
shall  be  unable,  when  awake,  to  remember  a  certain 
unpleasant  episode  connected  with  a  person  named 
"August."  After  being  awakened  she  has  complete 
amnesia,  not  only  for  the  episode,  but  even  for  the 
name.  The  suppression  of  the  memory  of  the  epi- 
sode carries  with  it  by  association  the  name  of  the 
person.  In  fact,  the  name  itself  has  no  meaning  for 
her.  When  asked  to  give  the  names  of  the  calendar 
months  after  mentioning  "July"  she  hesitates,  then 
gives  "September"  as  the  next.  Even  when  the 
name  "August"  is  mentioned  to  her  it  has  no  mean- 
ing and  sounds  like  a  word  of  a  foreign  language. 
The  memory  of  the  episode  has  become  dormant  so 
far  as  volitional  recollection  is  concerned.  It  can, 
however,  be  recalled  as  a  coconscious  process 
through  automatic  writing,  as  in  the  preceding  ex- 
periment, and  then  the  word  in  all  its  meanings  and 
associations  is  also  awakened  in  the  coconsciousness. 

The  same  phenomenon  may  be  observed  clini- 
cally in  transition  types  standing  halfway  between 


74  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

the  amnesia  following  emotional  episodes  and  that 
produced  by  external  suggestion.  Auto-suggestion 
may  then  be  a  factor  in  the  mechanism,  as  in  the 
following  example :  In  a  moment  of  discouragement 
and  despair  B.  C.  A.,  torn  by  an  unsolved  problem, 
said  to  herself  after  going  to  bed  at  night,  ' '  I  shall 
go  to  sleep  and  I  shall  forget  everything,  my  name 
and  everything  else. ' '  Of  course  she  did  not  intend 
or  expect  to  forget  literally  her  name,  but  she  gave 
expression  to  a  petulant  despairing  conditional  wish 
which  if  fulfilled  would  be  a  solution  to  her  prob- 
lem; as  much  as  if  she  said,  "If  I  should  forget  who 
I  am  my  troubles  would  be  ended."  Nevertheless 
the  auto-suggestion  with  its  strong  feeling  tones 
worked  for  repression.  The  next  day,  when  about 
to  give  her  name  by  telephone,  she  discovered  that 
she  had  forgotten  it.  On  testing  her  later  I  found 
that  she  could  not  speak,  write,  or  read  her  name. 
She  could  not  even  understandingly  read  the  same 
word  when  used  with  a  different  signification,  i.  e., 
stone  [her  name,  we  will  suppose,  is  Stone],  nor 
the  letters  of  the  same.  This  amnesia  persisted  for 
three  days  until  removed  by  my  suggestion.  That 
the  lost  knowledge  was  all  the  time  conserved  is 
further  shown  by  the  fact  that  during  the  amnesia 
the  name  was  remembered  in  hypnosis  and  also  re- 
produced by  automatic  writing. 

In  the  epochal  type  of  amnesia  a  person,  per- 
haps after  a  shock,  suddenly  loses  all  memory  for 
lost  epochs,  it  may  be  for  days  and  even  for  years  of 


FORGOTTEN    EXPERIENCES  75 

his  preceding  life.  In  the  classical  case  of  Mr. 
Hanna,  studied  by  Boris  Sidis,  the  amnesia  was  for 
his  whole  previous  life,  so  that  the  subject  was  like 
a  new-born  child.  It  is  easy  to  show,  however,  that 
the  forgotten  epoch  is  normally  conserved  by  mak- 
ing use  of  the  various  methods  of  reproduction  at 
our  disposal.  In  the  case  of  Hanna,  Sidis  was  able 
through  "hypnoidization"  and  suggestion  to  bring 
back  memory  pictures  of  the  amnesic  periods. 
''While  the  subject's  attention  is  thus  distracted, 
events,  names  of  persons,  of  places,  sentences, 
phrases,  whole  paragraphs  of  books  totally  lapsed 
from  memory,  and  in  language  the  very  words  of 
which  sounded  bizarre  to  his  ears  and  the  meaning 
of  which  was  to  him  inscrutable — all  that  flashed 
lightning-like  on  the  patient's  mind.  So  successful 
was  this  method  that  on  one  occasion  the  patient 
was  frightened  by  the  flood  of  memories  that  rose 
suddenly  from  the  obscure  subconscious  [uncon- 
scious] regions,  deluged  his  mind,  and  were  ex- 
pressed aloud,  only  to  be  forgotten  the  next  moment. 
To  the  patient  himself  it  appeared  as  if  another  be- 
ing took  possession  of  his  tongue." 

In  another  class  of  cases  of  epochal  amnesia 
known  as  fugues  the  subject,  having  forgotten  his 
past  life  and  controlled  by  fancied  ideas,  perhaps 
wanders  away  not  knowing  who  he  is  or  anything  of 
the  previous  associations  of  his  life.  The  "Lowell 
Case"  of  amnesia,  which  I  had  an  opportunity  to 

•Boris  Sidis:  The  Psychology  of  Suggestion,  p.  224;  see  also 
Multiple  Personality,  p.  143. 


76  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

carefully  observe  and  which  later  was  more  exten- 
sively studied  for  me  by  Dr.  Coriat,  may  be  in- 
stanced.* A  woman  suddenly  left  her  home  with- 
out apparent  rhyme  or  reason.  When  later  found 
she  had  lost  all  recollection  of  her  name,  her  person- 
ality, her  family,  and  her  surroundings,  and  her  iden- 
tity was  only  accidentally  discovered  through  the  pub- 
lication of  her  photograph  in  the  newspaper.  She  then 
had  almost  complete  amnesia  for  her  previous  life. 

Another  case,  also  studied  by  Dr.  Coriat  and  the 
writer,  was  that  of  a  policeman  who  suddenly  de- 
serted his  official  duty  in  Boston  and  went  to  New 
York,  where  he  wandered  about  without  knowledge 
of  who  he  was,  his  name,  his  age,  his  occupation,  in- 
deed, as  there  is  reason  to  believe,  of  his  past  life. 
When  he  came  to  himself  three  days  later  he  found 
himself  in  a  hospital  with  complete  amnesia  for  the 
three  days'  fugue.  When  I  examined  him  some 
days  later  this  amnesia  still  persisted  but  Dr.  Coriat 
was  able  to  recover  memories  of  his  vagrancy  in 
New  York  showing  that  the  experiences  of  this 
fugue  were  still  conserved.  It  is  hardly  necessary 
to  remind  you  that,  of  course,  the  memories  of  his 
normal  life  which  during  the  fugue  it  might  have 
been  thought  were  lost  were  shown  to  have  been 
conserved,  as  on  ''coming  to  himself"  they  were  re- 
covered. In  the  " Lowell  Case"  substantially  simi- 
lar conditions  were  found. 

In  continuous  or  anterograde  amnesia  the  subject 
forgets  every  experience  nearly  as  fast  as  it  hap- 

*  The  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  Vol.  II,  p.  93. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  77 

pens.  The  classical  case  of  Mme.  D.,  studied  by 
Charcot  and  later  more  completely  by  Janet,  is  an 
example.  The  conservation  of  the  forgotten  experi- 
ences was  demonstrated  by  these  authors. 

In  multiple  personality  amnesia  for  large  epochs 
in  the  subject's  life  is  quite  generally  a  prominent 
feature.  In  one  phase  of  personality  there  is  no 
knowledge  whatsoever  of  existence  in  another 
phase.  Thus,  for  instance,  all  the  experiences  of 
BI  and  BIV,  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.,  were  respec- 
tively unknown  to  the  other.  When,  however,  the 
change  took  place  from  one  personality  to  the  other, 
with  accompanying  amnesia,  all  the  great  mass  of 
experiences  of  the  one  personality  still  remained 
organized  and  conserved  during  the  cycle  of  the 
other's  existence.  With  the  reversion  to  the  first 
personality,  whichever  it  might  be,  the  previously 
formed  experiences  of  that  personality  became  ca- 
pable of  manifesting  themselves  as  conscious  mem- 
ories. This  conservation  could  also  be  shown,  in 
this  case,  by  the  method  of  tapping  the  conserved 
memories  and  producing  crystal  visions  or  artificial 
hallucinations.  Those  who  are  familiar  with  the 
published  account  of  the  case  will  remember  that 
BIV  was  in  the  habit  at  one  time  of  acquiring  knowl- 
edge of  the  amnesic  periods  of  BI's  existence  by 
1 1  fixing ' '  her  mind  and  obtaining  a  visual  picture  of 
the  latter 's  acts.  Likewise,  it  will  be  remembered 
that  by  crystal  visions  I  was  enabled  to  bring  into 
consciousness  a  vision  of  the  scene  at  the  hospital 


78  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

which,  through  its  emotional  influence,  caused  the 
catastrophe  of  dissociation  of  personality,  and  also 
of  the  scene  enacted  by  BI  just  preceding  the  awak- 
ening of  BIV,  of  all  of  which  BIV  had  no  knowl- 
edge.* As  with  Mr.  Hanna  sometimes  these  mem- 
ories instead  of  being  complex  pictures  were  scrappy 
—mere  flashes  in  the  pan.  The  same  condition  of 
conservation  of  the  experiences  of  one  personality 
during  the  existence  of  another  obtained  in  the  case 
of  B.  C.  A.  and  numerous  cases  recorded  in  the  lit- 
erature. In  this  respect  the  condition  is  the  same 
as  that  which  obtains  in  hypnotic  states  and  which  I 
mentioned  a  few  moments  ago. 

We  may,  in  fact,  lay  it  down  as  a  general  law  that 
during  any  dissociated  state,  no  matter  how  exten- 
sive or  how  intense  the  amnesia,  all  the  experiences 
that  can  be  recalled  in  any  other  state,  whether  the 
normal  one  or  another  dissociated  state,  are  con- 
served and,  theoretically  at  least,  can  be  made  to 
manifest  themselves.  And,  likewise  and  to  the 
same  extent,  during  the  normal  state  the  experi- 
ences which  belong  to  a  dissociated  state  are  still 
conserved,  notwithstanding  the  existing  amnesia  for 
those  experiences.  Furthermore,  if  we  were  deal- 
ing with  special  pathology  we  would  be  able  to  show 
that  many  pathological  phenomena  are  due  to  the 
subconscious  manifestations  of  such  conserved  and 
forgotten  experiences. 

Observation  shows  that  the  experiences  of  trance 
states  and  allied  conditions  are  similarly  conserved. 

*  The  Dissociation,  pp.  220,  221,  255,  531,  532. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  79 

Fanny  S.,  as  the  result  of  an  emotional  shock,  due 
to  a  distressing  piece  of  news,  goes  into  a  trance- 
like  state  of  which  she  has  no  memory  afterwards. 
Later,  a  recollection  of  this  supposedly  unconscious 
state,  including  the  content  of  her  trance  thoughts 
and  the  sayings  and  doings  of  those  about  her,  is 
recovered  by  a  special  device.  B.  C.  A.  likewise  fell 
into  a  trance  of  which  there  was  no  recollection. 
The  whole  incident  was  equally  fully  recovered  in  a 
crystal  vision,  and  also  conscious  memory  of  it 
brought  back  to  personal  consciousness  by  a  special 
technic.  In  the  vision  she  saw  herself  apparently 
unconscious,  the  various  people  about  her  each  per- 
forming his  part  in  the  episode ;  the  doctor  admin- 
istering a  hypodermic  dose  of  medicine,  etc.  In 
hypnosis  she  remembered  in  addition  the  thoughts 
of  the  trance  consciousness  and  the  various  remarks 
made  by  different  people  in  attendance. 

Even  delirious  states  for  which  there  is  complete 
amnesia  may  be  conserved.  I  have  observed  numer- 
ous instances  of  this  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.  For  in- 
stance, the  delirious  acts  occurring  in  the  course  of 
pneumonia  were  reproduced  in  a  crystal  vision  by 
Miss  B.  and  the  delirious  thoughts  as  well  were  re- 
membered by  the  secondary  personality,  Sally.*  I 
have  records  of  several  examples  of  conservation 
of  delirium  in  this  case.  Quite  interesting  was  the 
repetition  of  the  same  delirium  due  to  ether  narcosis 
in  succeeding  states  of  narcosis  as  frequently  hap- 
pened. A  very  curious  phenomenon  of  the  same  or- 

*  The  Dissociation,  p.  83. 


80  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

der  was  the  following:  After  the  subject  had  been 
etherized  a  number  of  times  I  adopted  the  ruse  of 
pretending  to  etherize  one  of  the  secondary  per- 
sonalities, using  the  customary  inhaler  but  without 
ether.  The  efficient  factor  was,  of  course,  sugges- 
tion. The  subject  would,  at  least  apparently,  be- 
come unconscious,  passing  into  a  state  which  had  all 
the  superficial  appearances  of  deep  etherization.  At 
the  end  of  the  procedure  she  would  slowly  return  to 
consciousness,  repeat  the  same  stereotyped  exple- 
tives and  other  expressions  which  she  regularly 
made  use  of  when  ether  was  actually  used,  and  make 
the  same  grimaces  and  signs  of  discomfort,  etc. 
This  behavior  would  seem  to  indicate  that  the  mental 
and  physical  experiences  originally  induced  by  a 
physical  agent  were  conserved  and  later  reproduced 
under  imaginary  conditions. 

Mental  experiences  formed  in  states  of  alcoholic 
intoxication  without  delirium  may  be  conserved  as 
dormant  complexes.  Dr.  Isador  Coriat,*  in  his 
studies  of  alcoholic  amnesia,  was  able  to  restore 
memories  of  experiences  occurring  during  the  alco- 
holic state  showing  that  they  were  still  conserved. 
The  person,  during  the  period  for  which  later  there 
is  amnesia,  may  or  may  not  be  what  is  ordinarily 
called  drunk,  although  under  the  influence  of  alco- 
hol. Later,  when  he  comes  to  himself,  he  is  found  to 
have  forgotten  the  whole  alcoholic  period — perhaps 
several  days  or  a  week — during  which  he  may  have 
acted  with  apparently  ordinary  intelligence,  and 

*  The  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  Vol.  I,  No.  3. 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  81 

perhaps  have  committed  criminal  acts.  By  one  or 
another  of  several  technical  methods  memory  of  the 
forgotten  period  may  often  be  recalled.  Dr.  C.  W. 
Pilgrim  *  also  has  reported  two  cases  of  this  kind  in 
which  he  succeeded  in  restoring  the  memories  of  the 
forgotten  alcoholic  state.  I  might  also  recall  here 
the  case,  cited  by  Ribot,  of  the  Irish  porter  who, 
having  lost  a  package  while  drunk,  got  drunk  again 
and  remembered  where  he  had  left  it. 

Of  course,  in  order  to  demonstrate  the  conserva- 
tion of  forgotten  experiences  it  is  necessary,  when 
abstraction  is  not  sufficient,  to  employ  subjects  in 
whom  more  profound  dissociation  of  consciousness 
can  be  produced  by  one  or  another  of  the  artificial 
means  described  so  as  to  permit  of  the  reproduction 
of  the  hidden  (conserved)  experiences  of  mental 
life.  Such  subjects,  however,  are  sufficiently  com- 
mon. Often  the  passive  state  of  abstraction  after 
some  practice  is  sufficient. 

Summary 

Although  in  the  above  resume  of  the  phenomena 
of  memory  I  have  for  the  most  part  made  use  of 
personal  observations,  these,  so  far  as  the  phenom- 
ena themselves  are  concerned,  are  in  accord  with 
those  of  other  observers.  It  would  have  been  easy 
to  have  drawn  for  corroboration  upon  the  writings 
of  Gurney,  Janet,  Charcot,  Breuer,  Freud,  Sidis, 
Coriat,  and  others. 

*  American  Journal  of  Insanity,  July,  1910. 


82  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

A  survey  of  all  the  facts  which  I  have  outlined  h* 
this  lecture  forces  us  to  ask  ourselves  the  question : 
To  what  extent  are  life's  experiences  conserved? 
Indeed  it  was  to  meet  this  question  that  I  have  re- 
viewed so  large  a  variety  of  forgotten  experiences 
which  experiment  or  observation  in  individual  cases 
has  shown  to  be  conserved.  If  my  aim  had  been  to 
show  simply  that  an  experience,  which  has  been  lost 
beyond  all  possible  voluntary  recall,  may  still  be 
within  the  power  of  reproduction  when  special  de- 
vices adapted  to  the  purpose  are  employed,  it  would 
not  have  been  necessary  to  cover  such  a  wide  field 
of  inquiry.  To  meet  the  wider  question  it  was 
necessary  to  go  farther  afield  and  examine  a  large 
variety  of  experiences  occurring  in  multiform  con- 
ditions of  mental  life. 

After  doing  this  the  important  principle  is  forced 
upon  us  in  strong  relief  that  it  matters  not  in  what 
period  of  life,  or  in  what  state,  experiences  have 
occurred,  or  how  long  a  time  has  intervened  since 
their  occurrence ;  they  may  still  be  conserved.  They 
become  dormant,  but  under  favorable  conditions 
they  may  be  awakened  and  may  enter  conscious  life. 
We  have  seen,  even  by  the  few  examples  I  have 
given,  that  childhood  experiences  that  are  supposed 
to  have  long  been  buried  in  oblivion  may  be  con- 
served. We  -have  seen  that  the  mental  life  of  arti- 
ficial and  pathological  states  is  subject  to  the  same 
principle;  that  the  experiences  of  hypnosis,  trance 
states,  deliria,  intoxication,  dissociated  personality 
— though  there  may  be  absolute  amnesia  in  the  nor- 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  83 

mal  waking  state  for  them — may  still  be  capable 
of  reproduction  as  memory.  Yet  of  the  vast  num- 
ber of  mental  experiences  which  we  have  during  the 
course  of  our  lives  we  can  voluntarily  recall  but  a 
fractional  part.  What  proportion  of  the  others  is 
conserved  is  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  determine. 
The  difficulty  is  largely  a  practical  one  due  to  the 
inadequacy  of  our  technical  methods  of  investiga- 
tion. In  the  first  place,  our  technic  is  only  applica- 
ble to  a  limited  number  of  persons.  In  the  second 
place,  it  is  obvious  that  when  an  episode — occurring 
in  the  course  of  everyday  life — is  forgotten,  but  is 
recovered  under  one  or  another  of  the  conditions  I 
have  described,  it  is  only  in  a  minority  of  instances 
that  circumstances  will  permit  confirmation  of  this 
evidence  by  collateral  and  independent  testimony. 
Still,  if  we  take  the  evidence  as  a  whole  its  cumula- 
tive force  is  such  as  to  compel  the  conviction  that 
a  vast  number  of  experiences,  more  than  we  can 
possibly  voluntarily  recall,  are  conserved,  and  that 
it  is  impossible  to  affirm  that  any  given  experience 
may  not  persist  in  a  dormant  state.  It  is  impossible 
to  say  what  experiences  of  our  daily  life  have  failed 
to  be  conserved  and  what  are  awaiting  only  a  favor- 
able condition  of  reproduction  to  be  stimulated  into 
activity  as  memory.  Even  if  they  cannot  be  repro- 
duced by  voluntary  effort,  or  by  some  one  particular 
device,  they  may  be  by  another  and,  if  all  devices 
fail,  they  may  be  recovered  in  pathological  condi- 
tions like  delirium,  trance,  spontaneous  hallucina- 
tions, etc.,  or  in  normal  dissociated  states  like 


84  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

dreams.  The  inability  to  recall  an  experience  is  no 
evidence  whatever  that  it  is  not  conserved.  Indeed, 
even  when  the  special  methods  and  moments  fail  it 
is  still  not  always  possible  to  say  that  it  is  not  con- 
served. 

It  would  be  a  gross  exaggeration  to  say,  on  the 
basis  of  the  evidence  at  our  disposal,  that  all  life's 
experiences  persist  as  potential  memories,  or  even 
that  this  -is  true  of  the  greater  number.  It  is,  how- 
ever, undoubtedly  true  that  of  the  great  mass  of 
experiences  which  have  passed  out  of  all  voluntary 
recollection,  an  almost  incredible,  even  if  relatively 
small,  number  still  lie  dormant,  and,  under  favoring 
conditions,  many  can  be  brought  within  the  field  of 
conscious  memory.  The  significance  of  this  fact 
will  become  apparent  to  us  later  after  we  have 
studied  the  nature  of  conservation.  Still  more  sig- 
nificant, particularly  for  abnormal  psychology,  is 
the  fact  we  have  brought  out  by  our  technical  meth- 
ods of  investigation;  namely,  that  almost  any  con- 
served experience  under  certain  conditions  can 
function  as  a  subconscious  memory  and  become 
translated  into,  i.e.,  produce  sensory  and  motor 
automatic  phenomena,  such  as  hallucinations,  writ- 
ing, speech,  etc.  It  will  not  be  surprising  if  we  shall 
find  that  various  other  disturbances  of  mind  and 
body  are  produced  by  such  subconscious  processes. 

Two  striking  facts  brought  out  by  some  of  these 
investigations  are  the  minuteness  of  the  details 
with  which  forgotten  experiences  may  be  conserved 
and  the  long  periods  of  time  during  which  conserva- 


FORGOTTEN   EXPERIENCES  85 

tion  may  persist.  Thus,  as  we  have  seen,  experi- 
ences dating  back  to  early  childhood  may  be  shown 
to  be  preserved  in  extremely  minute  detail  though 
the  individual  has  long  forgotten  them.  Further- 
more, it  has  been  shown  that  even  remembered 
experiences  may  be  conserved  in  far  more  elaborate 
detail  than  would  appear  from  so  much  of  the 
experience  as  can  be  voluntarily  recalled.  Prob- 
ably our  voluntary  memory  is  not  absolutely  perfect 
for  any  experience  in  all  its  details  but  the  details 
that  are  conserved  often  far  exceed  those  that  can 
be  recalled. 

In  the  survey  of  life's  experiences  which  we  have 
studied  we  have,  for  the  most  part,  considered  those 
which  have  had  objective  relation  and  have  been 
subject  to  confirmation  by  collateral  testimony.  But 
we  should  not  overlook  the  fact  that  among  mental 
experiences  are  those  of  the  inner  as  well  as  outer 
life.  To  the  former  belong  the  hopes  and  aspira- 
tions, the  regrets,  the  fears,  the  doubts,  the  self- 
communings  and  wrestlings  with  self,  the  wishes, 
the  loves,  the  hates,  all  that  we  are  not  willing  to 
give  out  to  the  world,  and  all  that  we  would  forget 
and  would  strive  not  to  admit  to  ourselves.  All  this 
inner  life  belongs  to  our  experience  and  is  subject 
to  the  same  law  of  conservation. 

Finally,  it  should  be  said  that  much  of  what  is 
not  ordinarily  regarded  as  memory  is  made  up  of 
conserved  experiences.  A  large  part  of  every  men- 
tal content  is  memory  the  source  of  which  is  for- 
gotten. Just  as  our  vocabulary  is  memory,  though 


86  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

we  do  not  remember  how  and  where  it  was  acquired, 
so  our  judgments,  beliefs,  and  opinions  are  in  large 
part  made  up  of  past  experiences  which  are  for- 
gotten but  which  have  left  their  traces  as  integral 
parts  of  concepts  ingrained  in  our  personalities. 


LECTURE  IV 
CONSERVATION  A  RESIDUUM  OF  EXPERIENCES 

A  consideration  of  all  the  facts  of  observation 
and  experiment  of  the  kind  which  I  have  recited  in 
the  last  two  lectures — and  I  might  have  multiplied 
them  many  times — forces  us  to  the  conclusion  that 
whether  or  not  we  can  recall  any  given  experience 
it  may  be  still  conserved.  Bear  in  mind  that  I  have 
used  conservation,  thus  far,  only  in  the  sense  that 
under  favoring  changes  in  the  moment's  conscious- 
ness, or  by  special  methods  of  stimulation,  a  past 
experience  may  reproduce  itself,  or  may  be  made 
to  reproduce  itself,  in  one  form  or  another  of 
memory. 

It  may  be,  for  example,  that  you  have  to-day  only 
a  vague  and  general  recollection  of  the  last  lecture 
and  if  you  should  endeavor  to  write  an  account  of 
it  from  memory  the  result  would  be  but  a  fragmen- 
tary report.  And  yet  it  is  quite  possible  that,  if 
one  or  another  of  the  various  technical  methods  I 
have  described  could  be  applied  to  some  one  of  you, 
we  should  be  able  to  recover  quite  exact  memories, 
of  certain  portions  at  least,  of  the  lecture — perhaps 
verbatim  transcripts  of  certain  portions,  and  large 

87 


88  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

numbers  of  facts  which  are  quite  beyond  your  pres- 
ent recollection. 

Our  study  of  those  phenomena  of  memory  which 
I  cited  in  the  last  lecture  was  carried  only  so  far 
as  to  allow  us  to  draw  the  conclusions  as  to  con- 
servation which  I  have  just  stated.  And,  in  draw- 
ing these  conclusions,  let  me  repeat — we  have  pro- 
visionally limited  the  meaning  of  the  term  conserva- 
tion simply  to  the  potential  ability  to  reproduce  ex- 
periences, with  or  without  recollection,  either  in 
their  original  form,  or  translated  into  a  graphic, 
visual,  or  auditory  expression  of  them.  We  have 
not  attempted  from  these  phenomena  to  draw  con- 
clusions as  to  the  nature  of  conservation,  or  as  to 
whether  it  is  anything  apart  from  reproduction 
under  favorable  conditions.  If  we  do  not  look  be- 
low the  surface  of  the  phenomena  it  might  be  held 
that  memory  is  only  a  recurrent  phase  of  conscious- 
ness, and  that  the  term  conservation  is  only  a  figure 
of  speech  to  express  the  ability  to  determine  that 
recurrence  in  our  self-consciousness. 

Let  us  examine  now  a  little  more  closely  some  of 
the  phenomena  we  have  already  examined  but  in- 
adequately. 

Residual  processes  underlying  automatic  motor  phe- 
nomena: writing,  speech,  gestures,  etc. — We  will  take 
writing  as  a  type  and  the  following  as  an  example : 
In  a  state  of  hypnosis  a  subject  learns  a  verse  by 
heart.  It  is  then  suggested  that  this  verse  shall 
be  written  automatically  after  he  has  been  awak- 


A   RESIDUUM    OF   EXPERIENCES  89 

ened.  (By  arranging  the  conditions  of  the  experi- 
ment in  this  way  we  make  certain  that  the  script 
afterwards  written  shall  express  a  memory  and 
not  a  fabrication.)  After  the  subject  returns  to 
the  normal  waking  state  he  has  complete  amnesia 
for  the  whole  hypnotic  state  and  therefore  for  the 
verse.  Now,  if  the  experiment  is  successful,  his 
hand  writes  the  given  verse  without  the  subject 
being  aware  of  what  his  hand  is  writing,  and  it  may 
be  without  being  aware  that  his  hand  is  writing 
anything  at  all.  The  whole  thing  has  been  done 
without  participation  of  his  consciousness  and  with- 
out his  knowing  that  any  such  phenomenon  was  to 
occur.  (Of  course  any  of  his  conscious  experiences 
while  in  the  hypnotic  state  might  have  been  used 
as  a  test,  these  being  known  to  the  experimenter 
as  well.)  Now  the  things  to  be  noted  are: 

1,  that  the  script  expresses  a  memory;  that  is, 
reproduces  previous  conserved  conscious  ideas — the 
verse.    It  expresses  memory  just  exactly  as  it  would 
express  it  if  it  had  been  consciously  and  voluntarily 
written. 

2,  that  these  ideas  while  in  a  state  of  conservation 
and  without  entering  consciousness — i.  e.,  becoming 
conscious  memory — express  themselves  in  written 
language. 

3,  that  this  occurs  while  the  subject  has  complete 
amnesia  for  the  conserved  ideas  and  therefore  he 
could   not  possibly   reproduce   them   as   conscious 
memory. 

4,  that  that  which  effects  the  writing  is  not  a 


90  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

recurring  phase  of  the  self -consciousness  which  is 
concerned  at  the  moment  with  totally  different  ideas. 

5,  that  the  " state  of  conservation"  is,  at  least 
during  the  writing,   a   specific  state   existing  and 
functioning  independently  and  outside  of  the  per- 
sonal self-consciousness. 

6,  that  in  functioning  it  induces  specific  processes 
which  make  use  of  the  same  organized  physiological 
mechanisms  which  ordinarily  are  made  use  of  by 
conscious  memory  to  express  itself  in  writing  and 
that  these  processes  are  not  in,  but  independent  of, 
consciousness. 

We  are  forced  to  conclude  therefore  that  a  con- 
scious experience — in  this  case  the  ideas  of  the  verse 
— is  conserved  through  the  medium  of  some  kind  of 
residuum  of  itself  capable  of  specific  functioning 
and  inducing  processes  which  reproduce  in  the  form 
of  written  symbols  the  ideas  of  the  original  experi- 
ence. 

We  need  not  consider  for  the  present  the  nature 
of  the  residuum,  and  its  process,  whether  it  is  the 
ideas  themselves  or  something  else. 

Kesidual  processes  underlying  hallucinations. — We  will 
take  the  observation  of  B.  C.  A.  looking  into  a 
crystal  and  reading  some  printed  words — a  cable- 
gram— which  she  had  previously  unconsciously 
overheard.*  The  words  were,  let  us  say,  "Best 
Wishes  and  a  Happy  New  Year."  This  visual  pic- 
ture was  not  a  literal  reproduction  of  the  original 

*  Lecture  III,  p.  58. 


A   RESIDUUM    OF    EXPERIENCES  91 

experience,  which  was  a  subconscious  auditory  ex- 
perience of  the  same  words,  of  which  she  was  not 
aware;  but  plainly,  nevertheless,  the  visual  picture 
must  have  been  determined  somehow  by  the  audi- 
tory experience.  Equally  plainly  the  visual  image 
was  not  a  recurrent  phase  of  the  consciousness,  for 
the  words  of  the  message  had  not  been  previously 
seen.  What  occurred  was  this :  the  antecedent  audi- 
tory perception  manifested  itself  in  consciousness 
after  an  interval  of  time  as  a  visual  hallucination 
of  the  words.  There  was  a  reproduction  of  the 
original  experience  but  not  in  its  original  form.  It 
had  undergone  a  secondary  alteration  by  which  the 
visual  perception  replaced  the  auditory  perception. 
As  a  memory  it  was  a  conversion  or  translation  of 
an  auditory  experience  into  terms  of  another  sense. 
Now  the  conversion  must  have  been  effected  by 
some  mechanism  outside  of  consciousness;  that  is 
to  say,  it  was  not  an  ordinary  visualization,  i.  e., 
intensely  vivid  secondary  images  pertaining  to  a 
conscious  memory,  as  when  one  thinks  of  the  morn- 
ing's breakfast  table  and  visualizes  it;  for  there 
was  no  conscious  memory  of  the  words,  or  knowl- 
edge that  there  ever  had  been  such  an  experience. 
The  visualization  therefore  must  have  been  induced 
by  something  not  in  the  content  of  consciousness, — 
something  we  have  called  a  secondary  process,  of 
which  the  individual  is  unaware. 

We  can  conceive  of  the  phenomenon  originating 
in  either  one  of  two  possible  modes.  Either  the 
hallucination  was  a  newly  fabricated  conscious  ex- 


92  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

perience;  or  it  was  a  reproduction  of  secondary 
visual  images  originally  belonging  to  the  auditory 
perception  at  the  time  of  its  occurrence  and  now 
thrust  into  consciousness  in  an  intensely  vivid  form. 
In  either  case,  for  this  to  have  taken  place  some- 
thing must  have  been  left  by  the  original  experience 
and  conserved  apart  from  and  independent  of  the 
content  of  the  personal  consciousness  at  any  and 
all  moments — something  capable  of  functioning 
after  an  interval  of  time  as  a  secondary  process  out- 
side of  the  personal  consciousness.  The  only  in- 
telligible explanation  of  the  phenomenon  is  that  the 
original  auditory  impression  persisted,  somehow 
and  somewhere,  in  a  form  capable  of  conservation 
as  a  specific  and  independent  residuum  during,  all 
subsequent  changes  in  the  content  of  consciousness. 
This  residuum  either  fabricated  the  hallucination 
or  thrust  its  secondary  images  into  consciousness 
to  become  the  hallucination. 

The  phenomenon  by  itself  does  not  permit  a  con- 
clusion as  to  the  nature  of  the  residuum,  whether 
it  is  psychological  or  neural ;  i.  e.,  whether  an  audi- 
tory perception,  as  perception,  still  persists  sub- 
consciously outside  the  focus  of  awareness  of 
consciousness,  or  whether  it  has  left  an  alteration  of 
some  kind  in  the  neurons.  Whatever  the  inner  na- 
ture of  the  conserved  experience  it  obviously  must 
have  a  very  specific  and  independent  existence, 
somehow  and  somewhere,  outside  of  the  awareness 
of  consciousness,  and  one  capable  of  secondary 
functioning  in  a  way  that  can  reproduce  the  orig- 


A   RESIDUUM    OF   EXPERIENCES  93 

inal  experience  in  terms  of  another  sense.  In  other 
words,  conservation  must  be  in  the  form  of  some 
kind  of  residuum,  psychological  or  neural.  It  must 
be,  therefore,  something  very  different  from 
reproduction  or  a  recurrent  phase  of  conscious- 
ness. Further,  it  must  form  a  stage  in  the  proc- 
ess of  memory  of  which  reproduction  is  the  final 
result. 

This  observation  of  course  does  not  stand  alone. 
I  have  cited  a  number  of  observations  and  might 
cite  many  more  in  which  the  same  phenomenon  of 
transformation  or  conversion  of  sensory  images  of 
one  sense  into  images  of  another  sense  was  promi- 
nent. Indeed  a  study  of  hallucinations,  artificial  or 
spontaneous,  which  are  representations  of  former 
experiences  and  where  the  determining  factors  can 
be  ascertained,  will  show  that  in  most,  if  not  all,  of 
them  this  same  mechanism  of  conversion  is  at  work. 
Take,  for  instance,  the  experiment  cited  in  our  last 
lecture,  the  one  in  which  Miss  B.  was  directed  to 
look  into  a  crystal  for  the  purpose  of  discovering 
the  whereabouts  of  some  money  she  had  lost  without 
being  aware  of  the  fact.  In  the  crystal  she  sees  a 
vision  of  herself  walking  along  a  particular  street 
in  Boston  absorbed  in  thought.  She  sees  herself  in 
a  moment  of  absent-mindedness  take  some  bank- 
notes out  of  her  pocket,  tear  them  up,  and  throw 
them  into  the  street. 

Now  this  artificial  hallucination  was,  as  we  have 
seen,  a  picture  of  an  actual  occurrence  for  which 
there  was  amnesia.  It  must,  therefore,  have  been 


94  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

determined  by  that  experience.  The  psychological 
phenomena  manifested,  however,  were  really  much 
more  complicated  than  would  appear  at  first  sight. 
An  analysis  of  this  vision,  which  unfolded  itself  like 
a  cinematograph  picture,  would  show  that  it  was  a 
composite  visual  representation  of  several  different 
kinds  of  experiences — of  past  perceptions  of  her 
body  and  face,  of  her  conscious  knowledge  of  her 
relation  to  the  environment  (in  the  street),  of  mus- 
cular movements,  and  of  her  knowledge  derived 
from  subconscious  tactile  impressions  of  the  act. 
Of  these  last  she  was  not  aware  at  the  time  of  their 
occurrence.  Much  of  this  knowledge  must  have 
persisted  as  a  residuum  of  the  original  experience 
and  functioned  subconsciously.  Thereby,  perhaps, 
the  original  secondary  visual  images  were  repro- 
duced and  emerged  into  consciousness  as  the  hallu- 
cination or  pictorial  memory. 

Similar  phenomena  indicative  of  conservation 
being  effected  by  means  of  a  residuum  of  the  orig- 
inal experience  may  be  produced  experimentally 
in  various  ways.  For  instance,  in  certain  hysterics 
with  anesthesia  if  you  prick  a  number  of  times  a 
part  of  the  body — say  the  hand — in  which  all  tactile 
sensation  has  been  lost,  and  later  direct  the  subject 
to  look  into  a  crystal,  he  will  see  a  number,  perhaps 
written  on  a  hand.  This  number,  let  us  say  five,  will 
correctly  designate  the  number  of  times  the  hand 
was  pricked.  Now,  because  of  the  loss  of  sensibility, 
the  subject  was  unaware  of  the  pin-pricks.  Never- 
theless, of  course,  they  were  recorded  subcon- 


95 

sciously,  coconsciously).  Their  subsequent  trans- 
formation into  a  visual  hallucination  not  only  shows 
that  they  were  conserved,  but  that  they  left  some- 
thing which  was  capable  of  taking  part,  outside 
of  consciousness,  in  a  secondary  process  which  gave 
rise  to  the  hallucination. 

An  examination  of  all  crystal  visions,  so  far  as 
they  are  translated  memories  of  actual  experiences, 
will  show  this  same  evidence  for  a  conserved  resi- 
duum. 

That  conservation  is  not  merely  a  figure  of  speech 
to  express  the  ability  to  determine  the  recurrence 
of  a  previous  experience,  but  means  a  specific  re- 
siduum capable  of  independent  and  elaborate  func- 
tioning, is  brought  out  more  conspicuously  in  those 
visions  which  are  elaborately  fabricated  symbol- 
isms of  an  antecedent  experience.  In  other  words, 
the  vision  is  not  a  literal  recurrence  of  a  previous 
phase  of  consciousness,  in  that  the  latter  has  been 
worked  over,  so  to  speak,  so  as  to  appear  in  con- 
sciousness in  a  reconstructed  form.  Though  recon- 
structed it  either  still  retains  its  original  meaning 
or  is  worked  out  to  a  completion  of  its  thoughts,  or 
to  a  fulfilment  of  the  emotional  strivings  pertaining 
to  them  (anxieties,  wishes,  etc.).  These  visions, 
perhaps,  more  frequently  occur  spontaneously, 
often  at  moments  of  crises  in  a  person's  life,  but 
also  are  observed  under  experimental  conditions. 
Sometimes  they  answer  the  doubts,  scruples  and 
other  problems  which  have  troubled  the  subject, 
sometimes  they  express  the  imaginary  fulfilment  of 


96  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

intense  longings  or  of  anxieties  and  dreads  which 
have  been  entertained,  or  disturbing  thoughts  which 
have  pricked  the  conscience.*  We  are  obliged  to 
conclude,  in  the  light  of  experimental  observations 
of  the  same  class,  that  such  phenomena  are  deter- 
mined by  the  specific  residua  of  antecedent  thoughts 
which  must  be  conserved  and  function  in  a  specific 
manner  to  appear  in  this  metamorphosed  form. 

Similar  residual  processes  underlying  post-hypnotic  phe- 
nomena.— Conserved  experiences  which  give  rise  to 
more  complicated  secondary  elaboration  may  be 
observed  in  suggested  post-hypnotic  phenomena. 
Experiments  of  this  kind  may  be  varied  in  many 
ways.  The  phenomenon  may  be  an  hallucination 
similar  to  the  one  I  have  just  described  in  hysterics, 
or  a  so-called  subconscious  calculation.  You  sug- 
gest in  hypnosis  to  a  suitable  subject  that  he 
shall  multiply  certain  numbers,  or  calculate  the 
number  of  seconds  intervening  between  certain 
hours — let  us  say  between  10 :43  and  5 :13  o  'clock — 
the  answer  to  be  given  in  writing  on  a  certain  day. 
The  subject  is  then  awakened  immediately,  before 
he  has  time  to  do  the  calculation  while  in  hypnosis. 
Later,  if  the  experiment  is  successful,  at  the  time 
designated  the  subject  will  absent-mindedly  or  auto- 
matically write  the  figures  giving  the  answer. 

There  are  two  modes  in  which  these  calculations 
may  be  accomplished.  In  a  special  and  limited  class 
of  cases,  where  there  is  a  large  split-off  subconscious 

*  For  specific  instances,  see  Lecture  VII. 


A   RESIDUUM   OF   EXPERIENCES  97 

personality,  or  doubling  of  consciousness,  the  cal- 
culation may  be  made  entirely  by  this  secondary 
subconscious  self,  in  the  same  fashion  as  it  would  be 
made  by  the  principal  personality  if  the  problem 
were  given  in  the  waking  state.  The  subconscious 
personality  will  go  through  each  conscious  step  in 
the  calculation  in  the  same  way.*  In  a  second  class 
of  cases  the  calculations  are  worked  out,  apparently, 
unconsciously,  without  participation  in  the  process 
by  a  subconscious  personality  even  when  such  exists. 
At  most  it  would  seem  that  isolated  numbers  repre- 
senting different  steps  in  the  calculation  arise  from 
time  to  time  coconsciously  as  a  limited  secondary 
consciousness  (of  which  the  personal  consciousness 
is  unaware)  until  finally  the  figures  of  the  com- 
pleted answer  appear  therein.  The  calculation  it- 
self appears  to  be  still  another  process  outside 
both  the  personal  and  the  secondary  consciousness. 
When  the  problem  has  been  finished  the  answer  is 
finally  given  automatically.  The  whole  process  is 
too  complicated  to  go  into  at  this  time  before  we 
have  studied  the  problems  of  the  coconscious.f 
It  is  enough  to  say  that  it  plain  that  the  hypnotic 
experience — the  suggested  problem — must  be  con- 
sidered as  some  kind  of  specific  residuum,  psy- 
chological or  neural,  and  that  this  residuum  must  be 
one  capable  of  quite  elaborate  independent  and  sub- 
conscious intellectual  activity  before  finally  becom- 
ing transformed  into  the  final  answer. 

*  Morton  Prince :    Experimental   Evidence  for    Coconscious  Idea- 
tion, Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-May,  1908. 
f  For  further  details,  see  Lecture  VI,  p.  169. 


98  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

Kesidual  processes  underlying  dreams — When  citing 
the  evidence  of  dreams  for  the  conservation  of  for- 
gotten experiences  I  spoke  of  one  type  of  dream  as 
a  symbolical  memory.  I  may  now  add  it  is  more 
than  this;  it  is  a  fabrication.  The  original  experi- 
ence or  thought  may  appear  in  the  dream  after 
being  worked  over  into  a  fantasy,  allegory,  sym- 
bolism, or  other  product  of  imagination.  Such  a 
dream  is  not  a  recurrent  phase  of  consciousness,  but 
a  newly  fabricated  phase.  Further,  analytical  and 
experimental  researches  go  to  show  that  the  fabri- 
cation is  performed  by  the  original  phase  without 
the  latter  recurring  in  the  content  of  the  personal 
consciousness.  The  original  phase  must  therefore 
have  been  conserved  in  some  form  capable  of  such 
independent  and  specific  functioning,  i.  e.,  fabrica- 
tion below  the  threshold  of  consciousness.  For  in- 
stance : 

The  subject  dreamed  that  she  was  standing  where  two  roads 
separated.  One  was  broad  and  bright  and  beautiful,  and  many 
people  she  knew  were  going  that  way.  The  other  road  was  the 
rocky  path,  quite  dark,  and  no  one  was  going  that  way,  but  she 
had  to  go.  And  she  said,  "Oh,  why  must  I  go  this  way?  Will  no 
one  go  with  me  ?"  And  a  voice  replied,  "I  will  go  with  you."  She 
looked  around,  and  there  were  some  tall  black  figures;  they  all 
had  names  across  their  foreheads  in  bright  letters,  and  the  one 
who  spoke  was  Disappointment ;  and  all  the  others  said,  "We  will 
go  with  you,"  and  they  were  Sorrow,  Loss,  Pain,  Fear,  and  Lone- 
liness, and  she  fell  down  on  her  face  in  anguish. 

Now  an  analysis  of  the  antecedent  thought  of  this 
subject  and  a  knowledge  of  her  circumstances  and 
mental  life,  though  we  cannot  go  into  them  here, 
make  it  perfectly  clear  that  as  a  fact,  whether  there 


A   RESIDUUM   OF    EXPERIENCES  99 

was  any  causal  connection  or  not,  this  dream  was 
a  symbolic  expression  of  those  thoughts.  The  rocky 
path  has  been  shown  to  be  symbolic  of  her  concep- 
tion of  her  own  life  entertained  through  years — the 
other  road  symbolic  of  the  life  longed  for  and 
imagined  as  granted  to  others.  Likewise  the  rest 
of  the  dream  symbolized,  in  a  way  which  any  one 
can  easily  recognize,  the  lot  which  she  had  in  her 
disappointment  actually  fancied  was  hers.  The 
thoughts  thus  symbolized  had  been  constantly  recur- 
ring thoughts  and  therefore  had  been  conserved. 
They  were  reproduced  in  the  dream,  not  in  their 
original  form,  but  translated  into  symbols  and  an 
allegory.  Something  must,  therefore,  have  effected 
the  translation.  In  other  words,  the  dream  is  not 
a  recurrent  phase  of  consciousness  but  an  allegori- 
cal fabrication  which  expresses  these  thoughts,  not 
literally  as  they  originally  occurred,  but  in  the  form 
of  an  imaginative  story.  Now  the  similarity  of  the 
allegorical  dream  thoughts  to  the  original  thoughts 
can  be  explained  only  in  two  ways:  either  as  pure 
chance  coincidence,  or  through  a  relation  of  cause 
and  effect.  In  the  latter  case  the  dream  might  have 
been  determined  either  by  the  specific  antecedent 
thoughts  in  question — those  revealed  as  memories 
in  the  analysis,  or  both  series  might  have  been  deter- 
mined by  a  third,  as  yet  unrevealed,  series.  For 
the  purposes  of  the  present  problem  it  is  immaterial 
which  so  long  as  the  dream  was  determined  by  some 
antecedent  thought.  The  very  great  frequency,  not 
to  say  universality,  with  which  this  same  similarity 


100  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

or  a  logical  relation  with  antecedent  thoughts  is 
found  in  dreams  after  analysis  renders  chance  coin- 
cidence very  improbable.  We  must  believe,  there- 
fore, that  the  dream  was  determined  by  antecedent 
experiences.  It  is  beyond  my  purpose  to  enter  here 
into  an  exposition  of  the  theory  of  the  mechanism 
of  dreams,  although  I  shall  touch  upon  it  later  in 
some  detail  in  connection  with  subconscious  proc- 
esses. We  need  here  only  concern  ourselves  with 
this  mechanism  so  far  as  it  bears  upon  the  principle 
of  conservation.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  analytical 
observations  (Freud)  have,  it  seems  to  me,  conclu- 
sively shown  that  conserved  experiences  may  be  not 
only  the  determining  factors  in  dreams,  but  that 
while  in  a  state  of  conservation  they  are  capable  of 
undergoing  elaborate  fabrication  and  afterwards 
appearing  so  thoroughly  transformed  in  conscious- 
ness as  not  to  be  superficially  recognisable.  I  have 
also  been  able  to  reach  the  same  conclusions  by  the 
method  of  experimental  production  of  dreams. 

The  only  question  is,  in  what  form  can  a  thought 
be  so  conserved  that  it  can,  while  still  in  a  state 
of  conservation,  without  itself  rising  into  conscious- 
ness, fabricate  a  symbolism,  allegory,  or  other  work 
requiring  imagination  and  reasoning?  The  only 
logical  and  intelligible  inference  is  that  the  antece- 
dent conscious  experience  has  been  either  itself  spe- 
cifically conserved  as  such  outside  of  the  personal 
consciousness,  or  has  left  some  neural  residuum  or 
disposition  capable  of  functioning  and  constructing 
the  conscious  dream  fabrication. 


A   RESIDUUM    OF   EXPERIENCES          101 

Residual  processes  underlying  physiological  bodily  dis- 
turbances.— Before  proceeding  further  I  would  invite 
your  attention  to  another  class  of  facts  as  these 
facts  must  be  taken  into  consideration  in  any  theory 
of  conservation.  These  facts  show  that  the  residua 
can,  by  subconscious  functioning,  induce  physiologi- 
cal bodily  manifestations  without  reproducing  the 
original  mental  experience  as  conscious  memory. 
In  certain  abnormal  conditions  of  the  nervous  sys- 
tem, i.  e.,  in  certain  psychoneuroses,  we  meet  with 
certain  involuntary  actions  of  the  limbs  or  muscles 
known  as  spasms  and  contractures ;  also  with  cer- 
tain impairment  of  functions  such  as  blindness, 
deafness,  loss  of  sensation  (anesthesia),  paralysis, 
etc.  These  disturbances  are  purely  functional, 
meaning  that  they  are  not  due  to  any  organic  dis- 
ease. Now  the  evidence  seems  to  be  conclusive  that 
these  physiological  disturbances  are  caused  some- 
times by  ideas  after  they  have  passed  out  of  con- 
sciousness and  become,  as  ideas,  dormant,  i.  e.,  while 
they  are  in  a  state  of  conservation  and  have  ceased 
to  be  ideas — or,  at  least,  ideas  of  which  the  subject 
is  aware.  A  moment's  consideration  will  convince 
you  that  this  means  that  ideas,  or,  at  least,  expe- 
riences in  a  state  of  conservation,  and  without  be- 
ing reproduced  as  conscious  memory,  can  so  func- 
tion as  to  affect  the  body  in  one  or  other  of  the 
ways  I  have  mentioned.  To  do  this  they  must  exist 
in  some  specific  form  that  is  independent  of  the  per- 
sonal consciousness  of  the  moment.  To  take,  for 

IJPKA  !^v 
OF  r  •  T 

SANTA   BARBARA 


102  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

example,   an  actual  case  which  I   have  elsewhere 
described : 

B.  C.  A.,  in  a  dream,  had  a  visual  hallucination  of 
a  flash  of  light  which  revealed  a  scene  in  a  cave  and 
which  was  followed  by  blindness  such  as  would 
physiologically  follow  a  tremendous  flash.  In  the 
dream  she  is  warned  that  if  she  looks  into  the  cave, 
she  will  be  blinded.  She  looks;  there  is  a  blinding 
flash  and  loss  of  vision  follows;  after  waking  she 
was  still  partially  blind,  but  she  continued  from 
time  to  time  to  see  momentary  flashes  of  light  re- 
vealing certain  of  the  objects  seen  in  the  dream  in 
the  cave,  and  these  flashes  would  be  succeeded  tem- 
porarily by  absolute  blindness  as  in  the  dream.  She 
had  no  memory  of  the  dream.  Now  psychological 
analysis  disclosed  the  meaning  of  the  dream ;  it  was 
a  symbolical  representation  of  certain  conserved 
(subconscious)  previous  thoughts — thoughts  appre- 
hensive of  the  future  into  which  she  dared  not  look, 
thinking  she  would  be  overwhelmed.  While  in  a 
state  of  conservation  the  residua  of  these  antece- 
dent thoughts  had  translated  themselves  into  the 
symbolical  hallucination  of  the  dream  and  the  loss 
of  vision.  Similarly  after  waking,  although  she  had 
no  memory  of  the  dream,  the  conserved  residua  of 
the  same  thoughts  continued  to  translate  themselves 
into  visual  hallucinations  and  to  induce  blindness.* 
It  would  take  too  long  for  ine  to  enter  here  into  the 


*  Prince :     Mechanism   and   Interpretation   of   Dreams,   Jour,   of 
Abn.  Psych.,  October-November,  1910. 


A   RESIDUUM   OF    EXPERIENCES          103 

details  of  the  analysis  which  forces  this  conclusion.* 
Similarly,  as  is  well  known,  convulsions  resemb- 
ling epilepsy,  paralysis,  spasms,  tics,  contractures, 
etc.,  may  be  caused  directly  or  indirectly  by  ideas, 
after  they  have  passed  out  of  consciousness  and 
ceased  to  take  part  in  the  conscious  processes  of 
thought.  At  least  that  is  the  interpretation  which 
the  facts  elicited  by  the  various  methods  of  investi- 
gation seem  to  require. 

There  is  an  analogous  class  of  phenomena  which 
ought  to  be  mentioned  among  the  possible  data 
bearing  upon  the  theory  of  memory,  although  too 
much  weight  cannot  be  placed  upon  them  as  their 
interpretation  is  not  wholly  clear.  I  will  discuss 
them  in  detail  later  in  connection  with  the  phenom- 
ena of  the  emotions.  They  are  certain  emotional 
phenomena  which  are  attributed  by  some  writers  to 
ideas  in  a  state  of  conservation.  It  has  been  demon- 
strated that  ideas  to  which  strong  feeling  tones  are 
attached  are  accompanied  by  such  physiological 
effects  as  disturbance  of  respiration,  of  the  heart's 
action,  of  the  vaso-motor  system,  of  the  secretions, 
etc.,  and  also  by  certain  galvanic  phenomena  which 
are  due  to  the  diminution  of  the  electrical  resist- 

*  If,  lacking  this  knowledge  of  the  data,  any  one  chooses  to  insist 
that  it  was  not  the  conserved  residua  of  previous  thoughts,  but  of  the 
dream  itself  (the  only  alternative  entertainable  explanation)  which 
induced,  after  waking,  the  hallucinatory  phenomena  and  blindness, 
we  still  fall  back  upon  the  same  principle,  namely,  that  of  the 
subconscious  functioning  of  conserved  residua  of  a  conscious  experi- 
ence producing  a  physiological  (and  psychological)  effect. 


104  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ance  of  the  body,   probably  caused  by  increased 
secretion  of  sweat.* 

Now  the  point  is  that  such  phenomena  are  some- 
times experimentally  obtained  in  connection  with 
certain  test  words  f  spoken  to  the  subject  experi- 
mented upon,  although  he  has  no  recollection  of  any 
incident  in  his  life  which  could  have  given  an  emo- 
tional tone  to  the  word  and,  therefore,  can  give  no 
explanation  of  the  physical  reaction.  By  various 
technical  methods,  however,  memories  of  a  for- 
gotten emotional  experience  in  which  the  idea 
(represented  by  the  word)  plays  a  part  and  through 
which  it  derived  its  emotional  tone  are  resurrected. 
I  have  been  able  to  obtain  such  reactions  from  test 
words  which  investigation  showed  referred  to  the 
incidents  of  terrifying  dreams  which  were  com- 
pletely forgotten  in  the  waking  state.  When  the 
test  word  was  given,  the  subject  might,  for  instance, 
exhibit  a  respiratory  disturbance — a  sudden  gasp — 
without  conscious  knowledge  of  its  significance,  and 
the  galvanometer,  with  which  the  subject  was  in 
circuit,  would  show  a  wide  deflection.  Recovery  of 
the  dream  in  hypnosis  would  explain  the  meaning  of 
the  emotional  disturbance  excited  by  the  word.  The 

*  According  to  recent  researches  of  Sidis  in  conjunction  with 
Kalnius,  and  later  with  Nelson  (The  Nature  and  Causation  of  the 
Galvanic  Phenomenon,  Psychological  Review,  March,  1910)  similar 
galvanic  phenomena  under  similar  conditions  may  be  caused  by  the 
generation  of  an  electric  current  within  the  body. 

t  The  test  word  (e.  g.,  boat,  stone,  hat,  etc.)  of  course  represents 
an  idea  which  may  have  various  associations  in  the  mind  of  the 
subject. 


A   RESIDUUM   OF   EXPERIENCES          105 

interpretation  which  has  been  put  upon  such  phe- 
nomena is  that  the  residua  of  the  forgotten  experi- 
ence are  " struck"  by  the  test  word.  As  the  for- 
gotten experience  originally  included  the  emotion 
and  its  physiological  reaction,  so  the  residua  are 
linked  by  association  to  the  emotional  mechanism 
and  when  stimulated  function  as  a  subconscious 
process  and  excite  the  reaction.  If  this  interpreta- 
tion, strongly  held  by  some,  be  correct,  the  phe- 
nomena are  important  for  the  support  they  give 
to  the  theory  of  conservation.  They  would  indicate 
that  conscious  experiences  must  be  conserved  in 
a  very  specific  subconscious  form,  one  that  is  ca- 
pable, without  becoming  conscious  memory,  of  excit- 
ing the  physiological  apparatus  of  the  emotions  in 
a  manner  identical  with  that  of  conscious  emotional 
ideas.  They  are  open,  however,  to  a  simpler  ex- 
planation, whether  more  probable  or  not:  namely, 
that  it  is  not  the  residua  of  the  forgotten  experi- 
ence which  unconsciously  excite  the  physiological 
reaction,  but  the  auditory  symbol,  the  test  word 
itself.  The  symbol  having  been  once  associated 
with  the  emotional  reaction,  it  afterwards  of  itself, 
through  a  short  circuit  so  to  speak,  suffices  to  induce 
the  reaction,  though  the  origin  of  the  association 
has  been  forgotten  and,  therefore,  the  subject  is  in 
entire  ignorance  of  the  reason  for  the  strong  feeling 
manifestation.  On  the  other  hand,  in  some  instances 
test  words  associated  with  emotional  experiences 
which  originally  were  entirely  coconscious  and  had 
never  entered  conscious  awareness  at  all  give  the 


106  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

reactions  in  question.*  As  coconscious  memories  of 
such  experiences  can  be  demonstrated  it  would  seem 
at  first  sight  as  if  under  such  conditions  the  word- 
reactions  must  come  from  a  true  subconscious  proc- 
ess— the  subconscious  memory.  And  yet  even  here 
it  is  difficult  to  eliminate  absolutely  the  possibility 
of  the  second  interpretation.  There  are,  however,  a 
large  number  of  emotional  phenomena  occurring  in 
pathological  conditions  which  can  only  be  intelligibly 
interpreted  as  being  due  to  the  residua  of  previously 
conscious  experiences  functioning  as  a  subconscious 
process.  These  phenomena  we  shall  have  occasion 
to  review  in  succeeding  lectures.  They  are  too  com- 
plex to  enter  upon  at  this  stage. 

Aside,  then,  from  these  word-reactions  we  have  a 
sufficient  number  of  other  phenomena,  such  as  I 
have  cited,  y/hich  indicate  that  conscious  experi- 
ences when  conserved  must  persist  in  a  form  ca- 
pable of  exciting  purely  physiological  reactions 
without  the  experiences  themselves  rising  into  con- 
sciousness again  as  memory.  The  form  must  also 
be  one  which  permits  of  their  functioning  as  intelli- 
gent processes  although  not  within  the  conscious 
field  of  awareness  of  the  moment. 

As  a  final  summing  up  of  the  experiments  and 
observations  of  the  kind  which  I  have  thus  far  cited, 


*  Morton  Prince  and  Frederick  Peterson :  Experiments  in  Psycho- 
Galvanic  Eeactions  from  Coconscious  (Subconscious)  Ideas  in  a  Case 
of  Multiple  Personality,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April- 
May,  1908. 


A   RESIDUUM   OF    EXPERIENCES          107 

dealing  with  forgotten  experiences,  we  may  say  that 
they  lead  us  to  the  following  conclusions : 

1.  That  conservation  is  something  very  different 
from  reproduction. 

2.  A  given  experience  is  conserved  through  the 
medium  of  some  kind  of  residuum  of  that  experi- 
ence.   This  residuum  must  have  a  specific  existence 
independent  of  consciousness,  in  that  it  is  capable  of 
specific  and  independent  functioning,  coincidentally 
with  and  outside  of  the  consciousness  of  any  given 
moment.    Its  nature  must  be  such  that  it  can  incite 
through  specific  processes  the  following  phenomena 
in  none  of  which  the  conscious  processes  of  the  mo- 
ment take  part  as  factors : 

(a)  Specific  memory  for  the  given  experience 
expressed    through    the    established    physiological 
mechanisms  of  external  expression  (speech,  writing, 
gestures)  after  the  manner  of  a  mnesic  process. 

(b)  A  mnesic  hallucination  which  is  a  represen- 
tation of  the  antecedent  perceptual  experience  but 
after  having  undergone  translation  into  terms  of 
another  sense. 

(c)  A  mnesic  hallucination  in  which  the  original 
experience  appears  synthesized  with  various  other 
experiences  into  an  elaborate  representation  of  a 
complex  experience,  or  secondarily  elaborated  into 
a  symbolism,  allegory  or  other  fabrication. 

(d)  Mnesic  phenomena  which  are  a  logical  con- 
tinuation of  the  antecedent  conscious  experiences 
and  such  as  ordinarily  are  produced  by  conscious 
processes  of  thought — reasoning,  imagination,  voli- 


108  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tion  (mathematical  calculations,  versification,  fab- 
rication, etc.). 

(e)  Physical  phenomena  (paralyses  contrac- 
tures,  vasomotor  disturbances,  etc.). 

In  other  words  a  specific  experience  while  in  a 
state  of  conservation  and  without  being  reproduced 
in  consciousness  can  incite  or  induce  processes 
which  incite  these  and  similar  phenomena. 


LECTURE   V 

NEUROGRAMS 

^ 

We  have  got  as  far  as  showing  that  the  phenom- 
ena of  memory  to  be  intelligible  require  that  ideas 
which  have  passed  out  of  mind  must  be  conserved 
through  some  sort  of  residuum  left  by  the  original 
experience.  But  this  as  a  theory  of  memory  is  in- 
complete; the  question  remains,  How,  and  in  what 
form,  manner,  or  way,  are  they  conserved?  In 
other  words,  What  is  the  nature  of  the  residuum? 
Is  it  psychical  or  physical?  *  As  we  have  seen, 
from  the  fact  that  something  outside  of  the  personal 
consciousness  can  manifest  memory  of  a  given  ex- 
perience at  the  very  same  moment  when  the  per- 
sonal consciousness  has  amnesia  for  that  experi- 
ence, we  are  compelled  to  infer  that  conservation 
must  be  by  a  medium,  psychological  or  physiologi- 
cal, capable  of  being  excited  as  a  specific  secondary 
process.  Now  this  medium  must  be  either  an 
undifferentiated  "Psyche"  or  specific  differentiated 
residua.  In  the  former  case  we  postulate  a  concept 
of  a  transcendental  something  beyond  experience 

*  I  use  this  term  physical  in  the  sense  in  which  it  is  used  in  the 
physical  sciences  without  reference  to  any  metaphysical  concept  or 
the  ultimate  nature  of  matter  or  of  a  physical  process. 

109 


110  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

and  of  which,  like  the  soul  after  death,  we  have  and 
can  have  no  knowledge.  To  this  concept  of  an  un- 
differentiated  Psyche  we  shall  return  presently. 

If  the  second  alternative — specific  differentiated 
residua — be  the  medium  by  which  experiences  are 
conserved,  then  the  residua  must  be  either  specific 
psychological  states,  i.  e.,  the  original  psychological 
experience  itself  as  such;  or  neural  residua  (or 
dispositions)  such  as  when  excited  are  ordinarily 
correlated  with  a  conscious  memory.  In  either  case 
the  medium  would  be  such  as  to  permit  of  the 
experiences  manifesting  themselves,  while  so  con- 
served outside  of  the  personal  consciousness,  as  a 
very  specific  secondary  process,  not  only  reproduc- 
ing the  original  experience  as  memory,  but  elabor- 
ating the  same  and  exhibiting  imagination,  reason- 
ing, volition,  feeling,  etc.  Unless  the  doctrine  of 
the  undifferentiated  Psyche  be  accepted  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  conceive  of  any  other  mode  in  which  conserv- 
ation can  be  effected  so  as  to  permit  of  the  phe- 
nomena of  memory  outside  of  consciousness. 

Conservation  considered  as  psychological  residua It  is 

hypothetically  possible  that  our  thoughts  and  other 
mental  experiences  after  they  have  passed  out  of 
mind,  out  of  our  awareness  of  the  moment,  may 
continue  their  psychological  existence  as  such 
although  we  are  not  aware  of  them.  Such  an 
hypothesis  derives  support  from  the  fact  that  re- 
searches of  recent  years  in  abnormal  psychology 
have  given  convincing  evidence  that  an  idea,  under 


NEUROGRAMS  111 

certain  conditions,  after  it  has  passed  out  of  our 
awareness  may  still  from  time  to  time  take  on  an- 
other sort  of  existence,  one  in  which  it  still  remains 
an  idea,  although  our  personal  consciousness  of  the 
moment  is  not  aware  of  it.  A  coconscious  idea,  it 
may  be  called.  More  than  this,  in  absent-minded- 
ness, in  states  of  abstraction,  in  artificial  conditions 
as  typified  in  automatic  writing,  and  particularly  in 
pathological  conditions  (hysteria),  it  has  been 
fairly  demonstrated,  as  I  think  wre  are  entitled  to 
assert,  that  coconscious  ideas  in  the  form  of  sensa- 
tions, perceptions,  thoughts,  even  large  systems  of 
ideas,  may  function  and  pursue  autonomous  and 
contemporaneous  activity  outside  of  the  various 
systems  of  ideas  which  make  up  the  personal  con- 
sciousness. It  usually  is  not  possible  for  the  in- 
dividual to  bring  such  ideas  within  the  focus  of  his 
awareness.  Therefore,  there  necessarily  results  a 
doubling  of  consciousness, — two  consciousnesses,  one 
of  which  is  the  personal  consciousness  and  the  other 
a  coconsciousness.  These  phenomena  need  to  be 
studied  by  themselves.  We  shall  consider  them 
here  only  so  far  as  they  bear  on  the  problem  of 
conscious  memory.  Observation  has  shown  that 
among  ideas  of  this  kind  it  often  happens  that  many 
are  memories,  reproductions  of  ideas  that  once  be- 
longed to  the  personal  consciousness.  Hence,  on 
first  thought,  it  seems  plausible  that  conservation 
might  be  effected  by  the  content  of  any  moment's 
consciousness  becoming  coconscious  after  the  ideas 
have  passed  out  of  awareness.  According  to  such 


112  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

an  hypothesis  all  the  conscious  experiences  of  our 
lives,  that  are  conserved,  would  form  a  great  cocon- 
scious  field  where  they  would  continue  their  exist- 
ence in  specific  form  as  ideas,  and  whence  they 
could  be  drawn  upon  for  use  at  any  future  time. 

Various  difficulties  are  raised  by  this  hypothesis. 
In  the  first  place,  there  is  no  evidence  that  cocon- 
scious  ideas  have  a  continuous  existence.  The  tech- 
nical methods  of  investigation  which  give  evidence 
of  such  ideas  functioning  outside  of  the  awareness 
of  the  personal  consciousness  do  not  show  that  at 
any  given  moment  they  are  any  more  extensive  than 
are  those  which  fill  the  field  of  the  personal  con- 
sciousness. Indeed,  usually,  the  coconscious  field 
is  of  very  limited  extent.  There  remains  an  enor- 
mous field  of  conserved  experiences  to  be  accounted 
for.  So  far  then  as  coconscious  ideas  can  be  dis- 
covered by  our  methods  of  investigation  they  are 
inadequate  to  account  for  the  whole  of  the  con- 
servation of  life's  experiences. 

In  the  second  place,  these  ideas  come  and  go  in 
the  same  fashion  as  do  those  which  make  up  the 
content  of  the  main  personal  consciousness;  and 
many  are  constantly  recurring  to  become  coconscious 
memories.  The  same  problem,  of  the  nature  of 
conservation,  therefore  confronts  us  with  cocon- 
scious ideas  in  the  determination  of  the  mechanism 
of  coconscious  memory.  To  explain  conservation 
through  coconscious  ideas  is  but  a  shifting  of  the 
problem.  If  a  broader  concept  be  maintained, 
namely,  that  this  coconsciousness,  which  can  be 


NEUROGRAMS  113 

demonstrated  in  special  conditions,  is  but  a  fraction 
of  the  sum  total  of  coconscious  ideas  outside  of  the 
personal  awareness,  we  are  confronted  with  a  con- 
cept which  from  its  philosophical  nature  deals  with 
postulates  beyond  experience.  We  can  neither 
prove  nor  disprove  it.  There  is  much  that  can  be 
said  in  its  support  for  the  deeper  we  dive  into  the 
subconscious  regions  of  the  mind  the  more  exten- 
sively do  we  come  across  evidences  of  coconscious 
states  underlying  specific  phenomena.  Neverthe- 
less, the  .demonstration  of  coconscious  states  in  any 
number  of  specific  phenomena  does  not  touch  the 
problem  of  the  nature  of  conservation.  In  weighing 
the  probability  of  the  hypothesis  on  theoretical 
grounds  it  would  seem,  as  I  have  already  said  in  a 
preceding  lecture,  to  be  hardly  conceivable  that 
ideas  that  had  passed  out  of  mind,  the  thoughts  of 
the  moment  of  which  we  are  no  longer  aware,  can 
be  treasured,  conserved  as  such  in  a  sort  of  psycho- 
logical storehouse  or  reservoir  of  consciousness, 
just  as  if  they  were  static  or  material  facts.  Such 
a  conception  would  require  that  every  specific  state 
of  consciousness,  every  idea,  every  thought,  per- 
ception, sensation  and  feeling,  after  it  had  passed 
out  of  mind  for  the  moment,  should  enter  a  great 
sea  of  ideas  which  would  be  the  sum  total  of  all  our 
past  experiences.  In  this  sum-total  millions  of 
ideas  would  have  to  be  conserved  in  concrete  form 
until  wanted  again  for  use  by  the  personal  con- 
sciousness of  the  moment.  Here  would  be  found,  in 
what  you  will  see  at  once  would  be  a  real  subcon- 


114  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

scious  mind  beyond  the  content  or  confines  of  our 
awareness,  stored  up,  so  to  speak,  ready  for  future 
use,  the  mass  of  our  past  mental  experiences.  Here 
you  would  find,  perhaps,  the  visualized  idea  of  a 
seagull  soaring  over  the  waters  of  your  beautiful 
bay  conserved  in  association  with  the  idea  of  the 
mathematical  formula,  a-fb=c;  the  one  having 
originated  in  a  perception  of  the  outer  world 
through  the  window  of  your  study  while  you  were 
working  at  a  lesson  in  algebra  which  gave  rise  to 
the  latter.  And  yet  conserved  as  ideas,  as  such  vast 
numbers  of  experiences  would  be,  we  should  not  be 
aware  of  them  until  they  were  brought  by  some 
mysterious  agency  into  the  consciousness  of  the  mo- 
ment. The  great  mass  of  the  mental  experiences 
of  our  lives  which  we  have  at  our  command,  our 
extensive  educational  and  other  acquisitions  from 
which  we  consciously  borrow  from  time  to  time,  as 
well  as  those  which,  we  have  seen,  are  conserved 
though  they  cannot  be  voluntarily  reproduced,  all 
these  mental  experiences,  by  the  hypothesis,  would 
still  have  persisting  conscious  existences  in  their 
original  concrete  psychological  form. 

Such  an  hypothesis,  to  my  mind,  is  hardly  think- 
able, and  yet  this  very  hypothesis  has  been  pro- 
posed, though  in  less  concrete  form  perhaps,  in  the 
doctrine  of  the  "subliminal  mind,"  a  particular 
form  of  the  theory  of  the  subconscious  mind.  This 
doctrine,  which  we  owe  to  the  genius  of  the  late 
W.  H.  H.  Meyers,  has  more  recently  appeared, 
without  full  recognition  of  its  paternity,  in  the 


NEUROGRAMS  115 

writings  of  a  more  modern  school  of  psychology. 
According  to  this  doctrine  our  personal  conscious- 
ness, the  ideas  which  we  have  at  any  given  moment 
and  of  which  we  are  aware,  are  but  a  small  portion 
of  the  sum  total  of  our  consciousness.  Of  this  sum- 
total  we  are  aware,  at  any  given  moment,  of  only  a 
fractional  portion.  Our  personal  consciousness  is 
but  sort  of  up-rushes  from  this  great  sum  of  con- 
scious states  which  have  been  called  the  subliminal 
mind,  the  subliminal  self,  the  subconscious  self. 
These  conscious  up-rushes  make  up  the  personal 
"I,"  with  the  sense  of  awareness  for  their  content. 
The  facts  to  be  explained  do  not  require  such  a 
metaphysical  hypothesis.  All  that  is  required  is 
that  our  continuously  occurring  experiences  should 
be  conserved  in  a  form,  and  by  an  arrangement, 
which  will  allow  the  concrete  ideas  belonging  to 
them  to  reappear  in  consciousness  whenever  the 
conserved  arrangement  is  again  stimulated.  This 
requirement,  the  theory  of  conservation,  which  is 
generally  accepted  by  those  who  approach  the  prob- 
lem by  psycho-physiological  methods,  fully  satisfies. 
Before  stating  this  theory  in  specific  form  let  me 
mention  to  you  still  another  variety  of  the  sublim- 
inal hypothesis,  metaphysical  in  its  nature,  which 
appeals  to  some  minds  of  a  philosophical  tendency. 

Conservation  considered  as  an  undifferentiated  psychical 
something  or  "psyche." — It  is  difficult  to  state  this  hy- 
pothesis clearly  and  precisely  for  it  is  necessarily 
vague,  transcending  as  it  does  human  experience. 


116  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

It  is  conceived,  as  I  understand  the  matter,  or  at  least 
the  hypothesis  connotes,  that  ideas  of  the  moment, 
after  ceasing  to  be  a  part  of  awareness,  subside  and 
become  merged  in  some  form  or  other  in  a  larger 
mind  or  consciousness  of  which  they  were  momen- 
tary concrete  manifestations  or  phases.  This  con- 
sciousness is  conceived  as  a  sort  of  unity.  Ideas 
out  of  awareness  still  persist  as  consciousness  in 
some  form  though  not  necessarily  as  specific  ideas. 
According  to  this  hypothesis,  it  is  evident  that  when 
the  ideas  of  the  moment's  awareness  subside  and 
become  merged  into  the  larger  consciousness  either 
one  of  two  things  must  happen ;  they  must  either  be 
conserved  as  specific  ideas,  or  lose  their  individu- 
ality as  states  of  consciousness,  and  become  fused 
in  this  larger  consciousness  as  an  undifferentiated 
psychical  something.  Some  like  to  call  it  a 
' i  psyche, ' '  apparently  finding  that  by  using  a  Greek 
term,  or  a  more  abstract  expression,  they  avoid  the 
difficulties  of  clear  thinking. 

The  first  alternative  is  equivalent  to  the  hypothe- 
sis of  conservation  in  the  form  of  coconscious  spe- 
cific ideas  which  we  have  just  discussed.  The  second 
alternative  still  leaves  unexplained  the  mechanism 
by  which  differentiation  again  takes  place  in  this 
psychical  unity,  how  a  conscious  unity  becomes  dif- 
ferentiated again  into  and  makes  up  the  various 
phases  (ideas)  of  consciousness  at  each  moment; 
that  is,  the  mechanism  of  memory. 

But,  aside  from  this  difficulty,  the  hypothesis  is 
opposed  by  evidence  which  we  have  already  found 


NEUROGRAMS  117 

for  the  persistence  of  ideas  (after  cessation  as 
states  of  consciousness)  in  some  concrete  form  ca- 
pable of  very  specific  activity  and  of  producing  very 
specific  effects.  We  have  seen  that  such  ideas  may 
under  certain  conditions  continue  to  manifest  the 
same  specific  functionating  activity  as  if  continuing 
their  existence  in  concrete  form  (e.  g.,  so-called  sub- 
conscious solution  of  problems,  physiological  dis- 
turbances, etc.).  This  phenomenon  is  scarcely 
reconcilable  with  the  hypothesis  that  ideas  after 
passing  out  of  awareness  lose  their  concrete  spe- 
cificity and  become  merged  into  an  undifferentiated 
psychical  something.* 

Furthermore,  for  a  concept  transcending  experi- 
ence to  be  acceptable  it  must  be  shown  that  it  ade- 
quately explains  all  the  known  facts,  is  incompatible 
with  none,  and  that  the  facts  are  not  intelligible  on 
any  other  known  principle.  These  conditions  seem 
to  me  far  from  having  been  fulfilled.  Before  accept- 
ing such  a  concept  it  is  desirable  to  see  if  conserva- 
tion cannot  be  brought  under  some  principle  within 
the  domain  of  experience. 

Conservation  considered  as  physical  residua. — Now  the 
theory  of  memory  which  offers  a  satisfactory  ex- 
planation of  the  mode  in  which  registration,  con- 

*  The  psyche  would  have  to  be  one  which  would  be  capable  of 
becoming  differentiated  at  one  and  the  same  moment  into  two  in- 
dependent consciousnesses — the  personal  and  the  secondary;  a  soul 
split  into  two,  so  to  speak.  The  desire  to  explain  a  secondary  con- 
sciousness by  this  doctrine  has  probably  given  rise  to  the  popular 
notion  of  two  souls  in  a  single  body! 


118  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

servation,  and  reproduction  occur  postulates  the 
conserved  residua  as  physical  in  nature.  Whenever 
we  have  a  mental  experience  of  any  kind — a  thought, 
or  perception  of  the  environment,  or  feeling — some 
change,  some  "trace,"  is  left  in  the  neurons  of 
the  brain.  I  need  not  here  discuss  the  relation  be- 
tween brain  activity  and  mind  activity.  It  is  enough 
to  remind  you  that,  whatever  view  be  held,  it  is 
universally  accepted  that  every  mental  process  is 
accompanied  by  a  physical  process  in  the  brain; 
that,  parallel  with  every  series  of  thoughts,  percep- 
tions, or  feelings,  there  goes  a  series  of  physical 
changes  of  some  kind  in  the  brain  neurons.  And, 
conversely,  whenever  this  same  series  of  physical 
changes  occurs  the  corresponding  series  of  mental 
processes,  that  is,  of  states  of  consciousness,  arises. 
In  other  words,  physical  brain  processes  or  expe- 
riences are  correlated  with  corresponding  mind 
processes  or  experiences,  and  vice  versa.*  This  is 
known  as  the  doctrine  of  psycho-physical  parallel- 
ism. Upon  this  doctrine  the  whole  of  psycho-physi- 
ology and  psycho-pathology  rests.  Mental  physi- 
ology, cerebral  localization,  and  mental  diseases 

*  If  the  theory  of  the  unconscious  presented  in  these  lectures  be 
firmly  established  this  doctrine  will  have  to  be  modified  to  this  ex- 
tent, that,  while  all  mental  processes  are  accompanied  by  brain 
processes,  brain  processes  that  ordinarily  have  conscious  equivalents 
can  within  certain  limits  occur  without  them  and  exhibit  all  the 
characteristics  of  intelligence — unconscious  cerebration.  Indeed,  it 
becomes  probable  that  every  mental  process  is  a  part  of  a  larger 
mechanism  in  which  unconscious  brain  processes  not  correlated  with 
the  specifically  conscious  processes  are  integral  factors. 


NEUROGRAMS  119 

excepting  on  its  assumption  are  unintelligible — in- 
deed, the  brain  as  the  organ  of  the  mind  becomes 
meaningless.  We  need  not  here  inquire  into  the  na- 
ture of  the  parallelism,  whether  it  is  of  the  nature 
of  dualism,  e.  g.,  a  parallelism  of  two  different  kinds 
of  facts,  one  psychical  and  the  other  physical;  or 
whether  it  is  a  monism,  i.  e.,  a  parallelism  of  two 
different  aspects  of  one  and  the  same  fact  or  a 
parallelism  of  a  single  reality  (mind)  with  a  mode 
of  apprehending  it  (matter) — mind  and  matter  in 
their  inner  nature  being  held  to  be  practically  one 
and  the  same.  The  theory  of  memory  is  unaffected 
whichever  view  of  the  mind-brain  relation  be  held. 
Now,  according  to  the  psycho-physiological 
theory  of  memory,  with  every  passing  state  of  con- 
scious experience,  with  every  idea,  thought,  or  per- 
ception, the  brain  process  that  goes  along  with  it 
leaves  some  trace,  some  residue  of  itself,  within  the 
neurons  and  in  the  functional  arrangements  be- 
tween them.  It  is  an  accepted  principle  of  physi- 
ology that  when  a  number  of  neurons,  involved,  let 
us  say,  in  a  coordinated  sensori-motor  act,  are  stim- 
ulated into  functional  activity  they  become  so  asso- 
ciated and  the  paths  between  them  become  so 
opened  or,  as  it  were,  sensitized,  that  a  disposition 
becomes  established  for  the  whole  group,  or  a  num- 
ber of  different  groups,  to  function  together  and 
reproduce  the  original  reaction  when  either  one  or 
the  other  is  afterward  stimulated  into  activity.  This 
1 '  disposition "  is  spoken  of  in  physiological  lan- 
guage as  a  lowering  of  the  threshold  of  excitability 


120  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

— a  term  which  does  not  explain  but  only  describes 
the  fact.  For  an  explanation  we  must  look  to  the 
nature  of  the  physical  change  that  is  wrought  in 
the  neurons  by  the  initial  functioning.  This  change 
we  may  speak  of  as  a  residuum. 

Similarly  a  system  of  brain  neurons,  which  in  any 
experience  is  correlated  in  activity  with  conscious 
experience,  becomes,  so  to  speak,  sensitized  and  ac- 
quires, in  consequence,  a  "disposition"  to  function 
again  as  a  system  (lowering  of  thresholds?)  in  a 
like  fashion;  so  that  when  one  element  in  the  sys- 
tem is  again  stimulated  it  reproduces  the  whole 
original  brain  process,  and  with  this  reproduction 
(according  to  the  doctrine  of  psycho-physical  par- 
allelism) there  is  a  reproduction  of  the  original 
conscious  experience.  In  other  words,  without  bind- 
ing ourselves  down  to  absolute  precision  of  lan- 
guage, it  is  sufficiently  accurate  to  say  that  every 
mental  experience  leaves  behind  a  residue,  or  a 
trace,  of  the  physical  brain  process  in  the  chain  of 
brain  neurons.  This  residue  is  the  physical  regis- 
ter of  the  mental  experience.  This  physical  register 
may  be  conserved  or  not.  If  it  is  conserved  we  have 
the  requisite  condition  for  memory;  the  form  in 
which  our  mental  experiences  are  conserved.  But 
it  is  not  until  these  physical  registers  are  stimulated 
and  the  original  brain  experience  is  reproduced 
that  we  have  memory.  If  this  occurs  the  reproduc- 
tion of  the  brain  experience  reproduces  the  con- 
scious experience,  i.  e.,  conscious  memory  (accord- 
ing to  whatever  theory  of  parallelism  is  main- 


NEUROGRAMS  121 

tained).  Thus  in  all  ideation,  in  every  process  of 
thought,  the  record  of  the  conscious  stream  may  be 
registered  and  conserved  in  the  correlated  neural 
process.  Consequently,  the  neurons  in  retaining 
residua  of  the  original  process  become,  to  a  greater 
or  less  degree,  organized  into  a  functioning  system 
corresponding  to  the  system  of  ideas  of  the  original 
mental  process  and  capable  of  reproducing  it. 
When  we  reproduce  the  original  ideas  in  the  form 
of  memories  it  is  because  there  is  a  reproduction  of 
the  physiological  neural  process. 

It  is  important  to  note  that  just  as,  on  the  psy- 
chological side,  memory  always  involves  the  awak- 
ening of  a  previous  conscious  experience  by  an 
associated  idea,  one  that  was  an  element  in  the 
previous  system  of  associated  sensations,  percep- 
tions, thoughts,  etc.,  making  up  the  experience,  so, 
on  the  physiological  side,  we  must  suppose  that  it 
involves  stimulation  of  the  whole  system  of  neu- 
rons belonging  to  this  experience  by  the  physiologi- 
cal stimulus  corresponding  to  the  conscious  ele- 
ment or  stimulus.  For  instance,  if  I  see  my  friend 
A,  the  image  is  not  a  memory,  though  it  is  one  I 
have  had  many  times  before  and  has  left  residua  of 
itself  capable  of  being  reproduced  as  memory.  But 
if  I  see  his  hat,  and  immediately  previously  linked 
pictorial  images  of  him  arise  in  my  mind;  or,  if, 
when  I  see  him,  there  arise  images  of  his  library  in 
which  I  have  previously  seen  him,  these  images  are 
memory.  A  conscious  memory  is  always  the  re- 
production of  an  experience  by  an  associated  idea 


122  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

or  other  element  of  experience  (conscious  or  sub- 
conscious). Similarly  we  must  infer  that  the 
neurons  correlated  with  any  past  mental  experience 
are  stimulated  by  associated  neuron  processes. 
This  is  the  foundation-stone  of  mental  physiology; 
for  upon  the  general  principle  of  the  correlation  of 
mental  processes  with  neural  processes  rests  the 
whole  of  cerebral  localization  and  brain  physiology. 
Although  we  assume  newly  arranged  dynamic 
associations  of  neurons  corresponding  to  associa- 
tions of  ideas,  we  do  not  know  how  this  rearrange- 
ment is  brought  about,  though  we  may  conceive  of 
it  as  following  the  physiological  laws  of  lowering  of 
thresholds  of  excitability.  Nor  do  we  know  whether 
the  modifications  left  as  residua  (by  which  the 
thresholds  are  lowered)  are  physical  or  chemical  in 
their  nature,  though  there  is  some  reason  for  believ- 
ing they  may  be  chemical. 

Chemical  and  physical  theories  of  residua. — It  is  pos- 
sible that,  through  chemical  changes  of  some  kind 
left  in  the  system  of  neurons  corresponding  to  an 
experience,  the  neurons  may  become  sensitized  so 
as  to  react  again  as  a  whole  to  a  second  stimulus 
applied  to  one  element.  In  other  words  a  hyper- 
susceptibility  may  become  established.  There  is  a 
physiological  phenomenon,  known  as  anaphylaxis, 
which  may  possibly  prove  more  than  analogous, 
in  that  it  depends  upon  the  production,  through 
chemical  changes,  of  hyper-susceptibility  to  a  stimu- 
lus which  before  was  inert.  The  phenomenon  is 


NEUROGRAMS  123 

one  of  sensitizing  the  body  to  certain  previously 
innocuous  substances.  If,  for  instance,  a  serum 
from  a  horse  be  injected  into  a  guinea  pig  no  ob- 
servable reaction  follows.  But,  if  a  second  dose  be 
injected,  a  very  pronounced  reaction  follows  and 
the  animal  dies  with  striking  manifestations  called 
anaphylactic  shock.  This  consists  of  spasm  of  the 
bronchioles  of  the  lungs  induced  by  contraction  of 
their  unstriated  muscles  and  results  in  an  attack 
of  asphyxia.* 

The  mechanism  of  anaphylaxis  is  a  very  compli- 
cated one  involving  the  production  in  the  blood  of 
chemical  substances  called  antibodies,  and  is  far 
from  being  thoroughly  understood.  One  theory  is 
that  sensitization  consists  in  the  " fixing"  of  the 
cells  of  the  tissues  with  these  antibodies.  This  may 
or  may  not  be  correct — probably  not — and  I  am 
far  from  wishing  to  imply  that  sensitization  of  the 
neurons,  as  a  consequence  of  functioning,  has  any- 
thing in  common  with  the  mechanism  of  sensitizing 
the  body  in  anaphylaxis.  I  merely  wish  to  point 
out  that  sensitizing  nervous  tissue  through  chemi- 
cal changes  is  a  physiological  concept  quite  within 
the  bounds  of  possibility;  and,  as  all  functioning  is 
probably  accompanied  by  metabolic  (chemical) 
changes,  such  metabolic  changes  may  well  persist  in 
neurons  after  brain  reactions  produce  sensitization. 

• 

*  Dr.  S.  J.  Meltzer  has  pointed  out  in  a  very  suggestive  article 
(Journal  American  Medical  Association,  Vol.  IV,  No.  12)  that  the 
anaphylactic  attack  resembles  that  of  bronchial  asthma  in  man,  and 
argues  that  this  latter  disease  may  be  the  same  phenomenon. 


124  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

If  this  hypothesis  of  sensitization  should  be 
proven  it  would  offer  an  intelligible  mechanism  of 
the  phenomenon  of  memory.  If  the  system  of  neu- 
rons engaged  in  any  conscious  experience  were 
sensitized  by  chemical  changes  it  would  acquire  a 
hyper-susceptibility.  The  system  as  a  whole  would 
consequently  be  excited  into  activity  by  any  other 
functioning  system  of  neurons  with  which  it  was 
in  anatomical  association  and  might  reproduce  the 
originally  correlated  conscious  experience. 

Various  theories  based  on  known  or  theoretical 
chemical  or  physical  alterations  in  the  neurons  have 
been  proposed  to  account  for  memory  on  the  physi- 
ological side.  Eobertson  *  has  proposed  that  it  is 
of  the  nature  of  autocatalysis.  Catalysis  is  the 
property  possessed  by  certain  bodies  called  cata- 
lyzers of  initiating  or  accelerating  chemical  reactions 
which  would  take  place  without  the  catalyzer,  but 
more  slowly.  "A  catalyzer  is  a  stimulus  which  ex- 
cites a  transformation  of  energy.  The  catalyzer 
plays  the  same  role  in  a  chemical  transformation 
as  does  the  minimal  exciting  force  which  sets  free 
the  accumulation  of  potential  energy  previous  to 
its  transformation  into  kinetic  energy.  A  catalyzer 
is  the  friction  of  the  match  which  sets  free  the 
chemical  energy  of  the  powder  magazine. ' '  f 

Numerous   examples   of  catalytic  actions  might 

*  T.  Brailsf ord  Eobertson :  Sur  la  Dynamique  chimique  du  systeme 
nerveux  central,  Archiv.  de  Physiol.  v.  6,  1908,  p.  388.  Ueber  die 
Wirkung  von  Sauren  auf  das  Athmungs  Zentrum,  Arch.  f.  die 
Gesammte  Physiologie,  Bd.  145,  Hft.  5  u.  6,  1912. 

f  Stephane  Leduc :    The  Mechanism  of  Life. 


NEUROGRAMS  125 

be  given  from  chemistry.  The  inversion  of  sugar 
by  acids,  the  decomposition  of  hydrogen  peroxide 
by  platinum  black,  fermentation  by  means  of  a  solu- 
ble ferment  or  diastase,  a  phenomenon  which  may 
almost  be  called  vital,  are  all  instances.  According 
to  Leduc  "the  action  of  pepsin,  of  the  pancreatic 
ferment,  of  zymase  and  other  similar  ferments  has 
a  great  analogy  with  the  purely  physical  phenome- 
non of  catalysis." 

In  auto-catalysis  one  of  the  products  of  the  reac- 
tion acts  as  the  catalyzer.  Now  Robertson  con- 
cluded, as  a  result  of  his  experiments  carried  out 
on  frogs,  that  the  processes  which  accompany  the 
excitation  of  the  cells  of  the  neurons  are  of  the 
nature  of  catalysis;  for  he  found  that  they  have 
as  one  effect  the  production  of  an  acid ;  and  he  also 
found  that  acids  accelerate  such  processes  which 
he  concludes  to  be  probably  of  the  nature  of  oxida- 
tions. "The  chemical  phenomena  which  constitute 
the  activity  of  a  neuron  cell,"  he  says,  "seem  to 
us  then  an  auto-catalytic  oxidation,  that  is  to  say, 
an  oxidation  in  which  one  of  the  products  of  the 
reaction  acts  as  a  catalyzer  in  the  reaction."  It 
occurred  to  him  then  that  the  physiological  corre- 
late of  memory  might  be  explained  on  the  principle 
of  auto-catalysis.  When,  to  test  this  hypothesis,  he 
came  to  compare  the  results  of  certain  psychological 
experiments  on  memory,  made  by  two  different  ex- 
perimenters (Ebbinghaus  and  Smith),  with  the  law 
characteristic  of  auto-catalytic  chemical  reactions, 
he  found  that  they  corresponded  in  a  surprisingly 


126  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

close  way  with  this  law.  That  is  to  say,  assuming 
the  value  of  the  residua  of  memory  (measured  by 
the  number  of  syllables  learnt  by  heart)  to  be  pro- 
portional to  the  mass  of  the  chemical  product  of 
auto-catalysis,  we  should  expect  that  the  increase 
of  the  number  of  syllables  or  other  experiences  re- 
tained by  memory  following  increase  of  repetitions 
would  obey  the  law  of  catalytic  reaction  as  ex- 
pressed in  the  mathematical  formula  established 
for  the  reaction.  Now,  as  a  fact,  he  found  that  the 
number  of  syllables  that  should  be  so  retained  in 
memory,  as  calculated  theoretically  by  the  formula, 
corresponded  in  a  remarkable  way  with  the  actual 
number  determined  by  experiment.  ''The  agree- 
ment was  closer,"  the  author  states,  "than  that 
which  generally  obtained  in  experiments  in  chemical 
dynamics  carried  out  in  vitro."  Eobertson  sums  up 
his  conclusions  as  follows : 

"5th:  We  have  shown  that  the  phenomenon  of 
which  the  subjective  aspect  is  called  'memory'  is 
of  a  nature  indicating  that  the  autocatalyzed  chemi- 
cal reactions  form  the  mechanism  conditioning  the 
response  of  the  central  nervous  system  to  stimuli. 

"6th.  In  admitting  that  the  extent  of  the  trace 
of  memory  may  be  proportionate  to  the  mass  of  a 
product  of  an  autocatalyzed  chemical  reaction  un- 
folding itself  in  the  central  nervous  system  as  the 
result  of  the  application  of  a  stimulus,  we  have 
shown  that  the  relation  which  one  theoretically  de- 
duces between  the  mass  of  memory  material  and 


NEUROGRAMS  127 

the  number  of  repetitions  corresponds  to  that  which 
has  been  found  by  experience. 

'  *  7th.  On  the  basis  of  the  hypothesis  above  men- 
tioned we  have  shown  that  the  law  of  Weber- 
Fechner  admits  of  a  rational  physico-chemical  in- 
terpretation, and  that  the  result  thus  obtained,  pro- 
vided the  hypothesis  above  mentioned  be  an  exact 
representation  of  facts,  is  that  the  intensity  of  the 
sensation  is  at  each  instant  proportionate  to  the 
mass  of  the  product  of  the  autocatalyzed  chemical 
reaction  above  mentioned  and,  consequently,  to  the 
extent  of  the  trace  of  memory. ' ' 

While  it  is  easy  to  understand  that  auto-catalysis 
may  take  part  in  the  chemical  process  which  under- 
lies the  performance  of  simple  volition,  as  inferred 
by  Robertson,*  and  perhaps  reproduction  in  the 
memory  process,  it  is  difficult  to  understand  how 
such  a  chemical  action  can  explain  conservation. 
The  problem  is  not  that  of  acceleration  of  an  action, 
but  of  something  like  the  storing  up  of  energy. 

Rignanof  has  proposed  an  hypothesis  according  to 
which  the  cells  of  the  nervous  system  are  to  be  con- 
sidered as  so  many  accumulators,  analogous  to  elec- 
tric accumulators  or  storage  batteries.  "The  simi- 
larities and  differences  which  nerve  currents  pre- 
sent in  comparison  with  electric  currents  warrant 
us  in  assuming  in  nerve  currents  some  of  the  prop- 

*  Further  studies  in  the  chemical  dynamics  of  the  central  ner- 
vous system,  Folio  Neuro-Biologica,  Bd.  VI,  Nos.  7  and  8,  1912. 

t  Eugenic  Rignano:  Upon  the  Inheritance  of  Acquired  Charac- 
ters. Trans,  by  Basil  C.  H.  Harvey,  Chicago.  Open  Court  Publish- 
ing Co.,  1911. 


128  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

erties  of  electric  currents,  and  in  attributing  at  the 
same  time  to  the  first  other  properties  which  the 
electric  do  not  possess,  provided  these  qualities  are 
not  incompatible  with  the  others. ' ' 

Now,  according  to  the  hypothesis,  the  specific 
nervous  current  set  up  by  any  stimulus  forms  and 
deposits  in  the  nucleus  of  the  cells  (through  which 
the  current  flows)  a  substance  which  adds  itself  to 
the  others  already  there  without  changing  them 
and  which  is  capable,  under  appropriate  conditions, 
of  being  discharged  and  restoring  the  same  specific 
current  by  which  it  was  produced.  Each  cell  thus 
becomes  what  Eignano  calls  an  elementary  nervous 
accumulator.  He  points  out  that  "both  the  concep- 
tion of  accumulators  of  nervous  energy  in  tension, 
and  that  of  accumulators  of  a  specific  nervous  en- 
ergy constituting  their  specific  irritability,"  which 
the  hypothesis  includes,  are  not  new  but  "an  ordi- 
nary conception  very  generally  employed."  .  ,  . 
' t  The  only  new  thing  which  the  above  definition  in- 
cludes is  the  hypothesis  that  the  substance,  which  is 
thus  capable  of  giving  as  a  discharge  a  given  nerv- 
ous current,  was  produced  and  deposited  only  by  a 
nervous  current  of  the  same  specificity,  but  in  the 
inverse  direction,  and  could  have  been  produced  and 
deposited  only  by  such  a  current."  "In  just  this 
capacity  of  restoring  again  the  same  specificity  of 
nervous  current  as  that  by  which  each  element  had 
been  deposited  one  would  look  for  the  cause  of  the 
mnemonic  faculty,  in  the  widest  sense,  which  all  liv- 
ing matter  possesses.  And  further  the  very  essence 


NEUROGRAMS  129 

of  the  mnemonic  faculty  would  consist  entirely  in 
this  restitution." 

"The  specific  elementary  accumulators  (previ- 
ously termed  specific  potential  elements)  are  thus 
susceptible  now  of  receiving  a  third  name,  namely, 
that  of  mnemonic  elements."  "The  preservation 
of  memories  is  to  be  ascribed  to  the  accumulations 
of  substance,"  while  "the  reawakening  of  these 
memories  consists  in  the  restitution  of  the  same  cur- 
rents [by discharge  of  the  substance]  as  had  formerly 
constituted  the  actual  sensation  or  impression." 

By  this  hypothesis  Eignano  explains  not  only 
memory  but  the  inheritance  of  acquired  characters 
and  the  whole  process  of  specialization  of  cells,  all 
of  which  phenomena  are  special  instances  of  such 
elementary  accumulators  of  organic  energy  being 
formed  and  discharged. 

Any  attempt,  with  our  present  knowledge,  to  pos- 
tulate particular  kinds  of  chemical  or  physical 
changes  in  the  nervous  system  as  the  theoretical 
residua  of  physiological  dispositions  left  by  psycho- 
logical experiences  must  necessarily  be  speculative. 
And  any  hypothesis  can  only  have  so  much  validity 
as  may  come  from  its  capability  of  explaining  the 
known  facts.  It  is  interesting,  however,  to  note 
some  of  the  directions  which  attempts  have  taken  to 
find  a  solution  of  the  problem.  For  the  present  it  is 
best  to  rest  content  with  the  theory  to  which  we 
have  been  led,  step  by  step,  in  our  exposition, 
namely,  that  conservation  is  effected  by  some  sort 
of  physiological  residua.  This  theory,  of  course,  is 


130  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

an  old  one,  and  has  been  expressed  by  many  writers. 
What  we  want,  however,  is  not  expressions  of  opin- 
ion but  facts  supporting  them.  It  would  seem  as  if 
the  facts  accumulated  in  recent  years  by  experi- 
mental and  abnormal  psychology  all  tended  to 
strengthen  the  theory,  notwithstanding  an  inclina- 
tion in  certain  directions  to  seek  a  psychological  in- 
terpretation of  conservation. 

Some  minds  of  a  certain  philosophical  bent  will 
not  be  able  to  get  over  the  difficulty  of  conceiving 
how  a  psychological  process  can  be  conserved  by 
the  physical  residuum  of  a  physiological  process. 
But  this  is  only  the  old  difficulty  involved  in  the 
problem  of  the  relation  between  mind  and  brain  of 
which  conservation  is  only  a  special  example.  That 
a  mind  process  and  a  brain  process  are  so  intimately 
related  that  either  one  determines  the  other  there 
is  no  question.  It  is  assumed  in  every  question  of 
psycho-physiology.  The  only  question  is  the  How. 
I  may  point  out  in  passing,  but  without  discussion, 
that  if  we  adopt  the  doctrine  of  panpsychism  for 
which  I  have  elsewhere  argued  * — namely,  that  there 
is  only  one  process — the  mental — in  one  and  the 
same  individual,  and  that  what  we  know  as  the  phys- 
ical process  is  only  the  mode  of  apprehending  the 
mental  process  by  another  individual;  if  we  adopt 
this  doctrine  of  monism  the  difficulty  is  solved.  In 
other  words,  the  psychical  (and  consciousness)  is 

*  Prince:  The  Nature  of  Mind  and  Human  Automatism,  1885: 
Hughlings-Jackson  on  the  Connection  between  the  Mind  and  Brain, 
Brain,  p.  250,  1891;  The  Identification  of  Mind  and  Matter, 
Philosoph.  Eev.,  July,  1904. 


NEUROGEAMS  131 

reality,  while  matter  (and  physical  process)  is  a 
phenomenon,  the  disguise,  so  to  speak,  under  which 
the  psychical  appears  when  apprehended  through 
the  special  senses.  According  to  this  view  in  their 
last  analysis  all  physical  facts  are  psychical  in  na- 
ture, although  not  psychological  (for  psychological 
means  consciousness),  so  that  physiological  and 
psychical  are  one.  To  this  point  I  shall  return  in 
another  lecture. 

Neurograms. — Whatever  may  be  the  exact  nature  of 
the  theoretical  alterations  left  in  the  brain  by  life's 
experiences  they  have  received  various  generic 
terms;  more  commonly  "brain  residua,"  and  "brain 
dispositions."  I  have  been  in  the  habit  of  using 
the  term  neurograms  to  characterize  these  brain 
records.  Just  as  telegram,  Marconigram,  and 
phonogram  precisely  characterize  the  form  in 
which  the  physical  phenomena  which  correspond  to 
our  (verbally  or  scripturally  expressed)  thoughts, 
are  recorded  and  conserved,  so  neurogram  precisely 
characterizes  my  conception  of  the  form  in  which  a 
system  of  brain  processes  corresponding  to 
thoughts  and  other  mental  experiences  is  recorded 
and  conserved.* 

•Richard  Semon  (Die  Mneme,  1908)  has  adopted  the  term 
Engramm  with  much  the  same  signification  that  I  have  given  to 
Neurogram,  excepting  that  Engramm  has  a  much  wider  meaning 
and  connotation.  It  is  not  limited  to  nervous  tissue,  but  includes 
the  residual  changes  held  by  some  to  be  left  in  all  irritable  living 
substances  after  stimulation.  All  such  substances  are  therefore 
capable  of  memory  in  a  wide  sense  (Mneme). 


132  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Of  course  it  must  not  be  overlooked  that  such 
neurograms  are  pure  theoretical  conceptions,  and 
have  never  been  demonstrated  by  objective  methods 
of  physical  research.  They  stand  in  exactly  the 
same  position  as  the  atoms  and  molecules  and  ions 
and  electrons  of  physics  and  chemistry,  and  the 
"antibodies"  and  "complements"  of  bacteriology. 
No  one  has  seen  any  of  these  postulates  of  science. 
They  are  only  inferred.  All  are  theoretical  con- 
cepts; but  they  are  necessary  concepts  if  the  phe- 
nomena of  physical,  chemical,  and  bacteriological 
science  are  to  be  intelligible.  The  same  may  be  said 
for  brain  changes  if  the  phenomena  of  brain  and 
mind  are  to  be  intelligible. 

And  so  it  happens  that  though  our  ideas  pass  out 
of  mind,  are  forgotten  for  the  moment,  and  become 
dormant,  their  physiological  records  still  remain,  as 
sort  of  vestigia,  much  as  the  records  of  our  spoken 
thoughts  are  recorded  on  the  moving  wax  cylinder 
of  the  phonograph.  When  the  cylinder  revolves 
again  the  thoughts  once  more  are  reproduced  as 
auditory  language.  A  better  analogy  would  be  the 
recording  and  reproducing  of  our  thoughts  by  the 
dynamic  magnetization  of  the  iron  wire  in  another 
type  of  the  instrument.  The  vibration  of  the  voice 
by  means  of  a  particular  electrical  mechanism 
leaves  dynamic  traces  in  the  form  of  corresponding 
magnetic  changes  in  the  passing  wire,  and  when  the 
magnetized  wire  again  is  passed  before  the  repro- 
ducing diaphragm  the  spoken  thoughts  are  again  re- 
produced. So,  when  the  ideas  of  any  given  con- 


NEUROGRAMS  133 

scious  experience  become  dormant,  the  physiologi- 
cal records,  or  dynamic  rearrangements,  still  re- 
main organized  as  physiological  unconscious  com- 
plexes, and,  with  the  excitation  of  these  physiologi- 
cal complexes,  the  corresponding  psychological 
memories  awake. 

It  is  only  as  such  physiological  complexes  that 
ideas  that  have  become  dormant  can  be  regarded  as 
still  existing.  If  our  knowledge  were  deep  enough, 
if  by  any  technical  method  we  could  determine  the 
exact  character  of  the  modifications  of  the  disposi- 
tions of  the  neurons  that  remain  as  vestiges  of 
thought  and  could  decipher  their  meaning,  we  could 
theoretically  read  in  our  brains  the  record  of  our 
lives,  as  if  graphically  inscribed  on  a  tablet.  As 
Ribot  has  well  expressed  it:  "  .  .  .  Feelings,  ideas, 
and  intellectual  actions  in  general  are  not  fixed  and 
only  become  a  portion  of  memory  when  there  are 
corresponding  residua  in  the  nervous  system — re- 
sidua consisting,  as  we  have  previously  demon- 
strated, of  nervous  elements,  and  dynamic  associa- 
tions among  those  elements.  On  this  condition,  and 
this  only,  can  there  be  conservation  and  reproduc- 
tion." Dormant  ideas  are  thus  equivalent  to  con- 
served physiological  complexes.  We  may  use  either 
term  to  express  the  fact. 

The  observations  and  experiments  I  have  recited 
have  led  us  to  the  conclusion  that  conservation  of 
an  experience  is  something  quite  specific  and  dis- 

*  Th.  Ribot :  Diseases  of  Memory,  pp.  154,  155.  Translation  by 
William  Huntington  Smith.  D.  Appleton  &  Co. 


134  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tinct  from  the  reproduction  of  it.  They  compel  us 
to  the  conclusion  that  we  are  entitled,  as  I  pointed 
out  at  the  opening  of  these  lectures,  to  regard 
memory  as  a  process  and  the  result  of  at  least  two 
factors — conservation  and  reproduction.  But  as 
conservation  is  meaningless  unless  there  is  some- 
thing to  be  conserved,  we  must  also  assume  regis- 
tration; that  is,  that  every  conserved  mental  experi- 
ence is  primarily  registered  somehow  and  some- 
where. Conservation  implies  registration. 

Such  is  the  theory  of  memory  as  a  process  of  reg- 
istration, conservation,  and  reproduction.  Thus  it 
will  be  seen  (according  to  the  theory)  that  ideas 
which  have  passed  out  of  mind  are  preserved,  if  at 
all,  not  as  ideas,  but  as  physical  alterations  or  rec- 
ords in  the  brain  neurons  and  in  the  functional 
dynamic  arrangements  between  them. 

From  this  you  will  easily  understand  that  while, 
as  you  have  seen  from  concrete  observations,  we 
can  have  conservation  of  experiences  without  mem- 
ory (reproduction)  we  cannot  have  memory  without 
conservation.  Three  factors  are  essential  for  mem- 
ory, and  memory  may  fail  from  the  failure  of  any 
one  of  them.  Unless  an  experience  is  registered  in 
some  form  there  will  be  nothing  to  preserve,  and 
memory  will  fail  because  of  lack  of  registration.  If 
the  experience  has  been  registered,  memory  may 
fail,  owing  to  the  registration  having  faded  out,  so 
to  speak,  either  with  time  or  from  some  other  rea- 
son; that  is,  nothing  having  been  conserved,  noth- 
ing can  be  reproduced.  Finally,  though  an  experi- 


NEUROGRAMS  135 

ence  has  been  registered  and  conserved,  memory 
may  still  fail,  owing  to  failure  of  reproduction.  The 
neurographic  records  must  be  made  active  once 
more,  stimulated  into  an  active  process,  in  order 
that  the  original  experience  may  be  recalled,  i.  e., 
reproduced.  Thus  what  we  call  conscious  memory 
is  the  final  result  of  a  process  involving  the  three 
factors,  registration,  conservation,  and  reproduction. 

Physiological  memory. — Memory  as  commonly  re- 
garded and  known  to  psychology  is  a  conscious 
manifestation  but,  plainly,  if  we  regard  it,  as  we 
have  thus  far,  as  a  process,  then,  logically,  we  are 
entitled  to  regard  any  process  which  consists  of  the 
three  factors,  registration,  conservation,  and  repro- 
duction of  experiences,  as  memory,  whether  the 
final  result  be  the  reproduction  of  a  conscious  expe- 
rience, or  one  to  which  no  consciousness  was  ever 
attached.  In  other  words,  theoretically  it  is  quite 
possible  that  acquired  physiological  body-experien- 
ces may  be  reproduced  by  exactly  the  same  process 
as  conscious  experiences,  and  their  reproduction 
would  be  entitled  to  be  regarded  as  memory  quite  as 
much  as  if  the  experience  were  one  of  consciousness. 
In  principle  it  is  evident  that  it  is  entirely  imma- 
terial whether  that  which  is  reproduced  is  a  con- 
scious or  an  unconscious  experience  so  long  as  the 
mechanism  of  the  process  is  the  same. 

Now,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  there  are  a  large  number 
of  acquired  physiological  body-actions  which, 
though  unconscious,  must  be  regarded  quite  as  much 


136  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

as  manifestations  of  memory  as  is  the  conscious 
repetition  of  the  alphabet,  or  any  other  conscious 
acquisition.  Having  been  acquired  they  are  ipso 
facto  reproductions  of  organized  experiences.  We 
all  know  very  well  that  movements  acquired  voli- 
tionally,  and  perhaps  laboriously,  are,  after  con- 
stant repetition,  reproduced  with  precision  with- 
out conscious  guidance. 

They  are  said  to  be  automatic;  even  the  guiding 
afferent  impressions  do  not  enter  the  content  of 
consciousness.  The  maintaining  of  the  body  in  one 
position,  sitting  or  standing,  though  requiring  a 
complicated  correlation  of  a  large  number  of  mus- 
cles, is  carried  out  without  conscious  volition.  It  is 
the  same  with  walking  and  running.  Still  more 
complicated  movements  are  similarly  performed  in 
knitting,  typewriting  and  playing  the  piano,  shav- 
ing, buttoning  a  coat,  etc.  We  do  not  even  know  the 
elementary  movements  involved  in  the  action,  and 
must  become  aware  of  them  by  observation.  The 
neurons  remember,  i.  e.,  conserve  and  reproduce  the 
process  acquired  by  previous  conscious  experiences. 
But  though  it  is  memory  it  is  not  conscious  mem- 
ory, it  is  unconscious  memory,  i.  e.,  a  physiological 
memory.  The  acquired  dispositions  repeat  them- 
selves— what  is  called  habit.  Precision  in  games  of 
skill  largely  depend  upon  this  principle.  A  tennis 
player  must  learn  the  " stroke"  to  play  the  game 
well.  This  means  that  the  muscles  must  be  co- 
ordinated to  a  delicate  adjustment  which,  once 
learned,  must  be  unconsciously  remembered  and 


NEUROGRAMS  137 

used,  without  consciously  adjusting  the  muscles 
each  time  the  ball  is  hit.  Indeed  some  organic  mem- 
ories are  so  tenacious  that  a  player  once  having 
learned  the  stroke  finds  great  difficulty  even  by  ef- 
fort of  will  in  unlearning  it  and  making  his  muscles 
play  a  different  style  of  stroke.  Likewise  one  who 
has  learned  to  use  his  arms  in  sparring  by  one 
method  finds  difficulty  in  learning  to  spar  by  an- 
other method.  In  fact  almost  any  acquired  move- 
ment is  compounded  of  elementary  movements 
which  by  repetition  were  linked  and  finely  adjusted 
to  produce  the  resultant  movement,  and  finally  con- 
served as  an  unconscious  physiological  arrange- 
ment. As  one  writer  has  said,  the  neuron  organi- 
zation "faithfully  preserves  the  records  of  proc- 
esses often  performed." 

In  what  has  just  been  said  the  fact  has  not  been 
overlooked  that  the  initiation  or  modification  of  any 
of  the  movements  which  have  been  classed  as  physi- 
ological memory  (knitting,  typewriting,  games  of 
skill,  etc.),  even  after  their  acquisition,  is  necessar- 
ily voluntary  and  therefore,  so  far,  a  conscious  mem- 
ory, but  the  nice  coordination  of  afferent  and  effer- 
ent impulses  for  the  adjustment  of  the  muscles  in- 
volved becomes,  by  repetition,  an  unconscious  mech- 
anism, and  is  performed  outside  the  province  of  the 
will  as  an  act  of  unconscious  memory.  By  repeated 
experience  the  neurons  become  functionally  orga- 
nized in  such  a  way  as  to  acquire  and  conserve  a 
functional  "disposition"  to  reproduce  the  move- 
ments originally  initiated  by  volition. 


138  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Physiological  memory  has  indeed,  as  it  seems, 
been  recently  experimentally  demonstrated  by  Koth- 
mann,  who  educated  a  dog  from  which  the  hemi- 
spheres had  been  removed  to  perform  certain 
tricks ;  e.  g.,  to  jump  over  a  hurdle.* 

Still  another  variety  of  memory  is  psycho-physio- 
logical. This  type  is  characterized  by  a  combina- 
tion of  psychological  and  physiological  elements 
and  is  important,  as  we  shall  see  later,  because  of 
the  conspicuous  part  which  such  memories  play  in 
pathological  conditions.  Certain  bodily  reactions 
which  are  purely  physiological,  such  as  vaso-motor, 
cardiac,  respiratory,  intestinal,  digestive,  etc.,  dis- 
turbances, become,  as  the  result  of  certain  experi- 
ences, linked  with  one  or  another  psychical  ele- 
ment (sensations,  perceptions,  thoughts),  and,  this 
linking  becoming  conserved  as  a  "disposition,"  the 
physiological  reaction  is  reproduced  whenever  the 
psychical  element  is  introduced  into  consciousness. 
Thus,  for  example,  the  perception  or  thought  of  a 
certain  person  may  become,  as  the  result  of  a  given 
social  episode,  so  linked  with  blushing  or  cardiac 
palpitation  that  whenever  the  former  is  thrust  into 
consciousness,  no  matter  how  changed  the  condi- 
tions may  be  from  those  of  the  original  episode,  the 
physiological  reaction  of  the  blood  vessels  or  heart 
is  reproduced.  Here  the  original  psycho-physio- 
logical experience — the  association  of  an  idea  (or 
psychical  element)  with  the  physiological  process  is 
conserved  and  repoduced.  Such  a  reproduction  is 

*  Cf .  Lecture  VIII,  p.  238. 


NEUROGRAMS  139 

essentially  a  psycho-physiological  memory  depend- 
ing wholly  upon  the  acquired  disposition  of  the  neu- 
rons.* 

Thus,  to  take  an  actual  example  from  real  life,  a 
certain  person  during  a  series  of  years  was  expect- 
ing to  hear  bad  news  because  of  the  illness  of  a 
member  of  the  family  and  consequently  was  always 
startled,  and  her  "  heart  always  jumped  into  her 
throat,"  whenever  the  telephone  rang.  Finally  the 
news  came.  That  anxiety  is  long  past,  but  now 
when  the  telephone  rings,  although  she  is  not  ex- 
pecting bad  news  and  no  thought  of  the  original  ex- 
perience consciously  arises  in  her  mind,  her  "heart 
always  gives  a  leap  and  sometimes  she  bursts  into  a 
perspiration. ' ' 

A  beautiful  illustration  of  this  type  of  memory  is 
to  be  found  in  the  results  of  the  extremely  impor- 
tant experiments,  for  psychology  as  well  as  physiol- 
ogy, of  Pawlow  and  his  co-workers  in  the  reflex  stim- 
ulation of  saliva  in  dogs.  These  experiments  show 
the  possibility  of  linking  a  physiological  process  to 
a  psychological  process  by  education,  and  through 
the  conservation  of  the  association  reproducing  the 
physiological  process  as  an  act  of  unconscious  mem- 
ory. (The  experiments,  of  course,  were  undertaken 
for  an  entirely  different  purpose,  namely,  that  of 
studying  the  digestive  processes  only.)  It  should 
be  explained  that  it  was  shown  that  the  salivary 

*  Emotion  is  a  factor  in  the  genesis  of  such  phenomena,  but  may 
be  disregarded  for  the  present  until  we  have  studied  the  phenomena 
of  the  emotions  by  themselves. 


140  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

glands  are  selective  in  their  reaction  to  stimuli  in 
that  they  do  not  respond  at  all  to  some  (pebbles, 
snow),  but  respond  to  others  with  a  thin  watery 
fluid  containing  mere  traces  of  mucin  or  a  slimy 
mucin-holding  fluid,  according  as  to  whether  the 
stimulating  substance  is  one  which  the  dog  rejects, 
and  which  therefore  must  be  washed  out  or  diluted 
(sands,  acids,  bitter  and  caustic  substances),  or  is 
an  eatable  substance  and  must  as  a  food  bolus  be 
lubricated  for  the  facilitation  of  its  descent.  Dry- 
ness  of  the  food,  too,  largely  determined  the  quan- 
tity of  the  saliva. 

Now  the  experiments  of  the  St.  Petersburg  labo- 
ratory brought  out  another  fact  which  is  of  particu- 
lar interest  for  us  and  which  is  thus  described  by 
Pawlow.  "In  the  course  of  our  experiments  it  ap- 
peared that  all  the  phenomena  of  adaptation  which 
we  saw  in  the  salivary  glands  under  physiological 
conditions,  such,  for  instance,  as  the  introduction  of 
the  stimulating  substances  into  the  buccal  cavity, 
reappeared  in  exactly  the  same  manner  under  the 
influence  of  psychological  conditions — that  is  to  say, 
when  we  merely  drew  the  animal's  attention  to  the 
substances  in  question.  Thus,  when  we  pretended 
to  throw  pebbles  into  the  dog's  mouth,  or  to  cast  in 
sand,  or  to  pour  in  something  disagreeable,  or,  fi- 
nally, when  we  offered  it  this  or  that  kind  of  food,  a 
secretion  either  immediately  appeared  or  it  did  not 
appear,  in  accordance  with  the  properties  of  the 
substance  which  we  had  previously  seen  to  regu- 
late the  quantity  and  nature  of  the  juice  when 


NEUROGRAMS  141 

physiologically  excited  to  flow.  If  we  pretended  to 
throw  in  sand  a  watery  saliva  escaped  from  the 
mucous  glands;  if  food,  a  slimy  saliva.  And  if  the 
food  was  dry — for  example,  dry  bread — a  large 
quantity  of  saliva  flowed  out  even  when  it  excited  no 
special  interest  on  the  part  of  the  dog.  When,  on 
the  other  hand,  a  moist  food  was  presented — for  ex- 
ample, flesh — much  less  saliva  appeared  than  in  the 
previous  case  however  eagerly  the  dog  may  have 
desired  the  food.  This  latter  effect  is  particularly 
obvious  in  the  case  of  the  parotid  gland." 

It  is  obvious  that  in  these  experiments,  when  the 
experimenter  pretended  to  throw  various  sub- 
stances into  the  dog's  mouth,  the  action  was  effec- 
tive in  producing  the  flow  of  saliva  of  specific  quali- 
ties because,  through  repeated  experiences,  the  pic- 
torial images  (or  ideas)  of  the  substance  had  be- 
come associated  with  the  specific  physiological  sali- 
vary reaction,  and  this  association  had  been  con- 
served as  a  neurogram.  Consequently  the  neuro- 
graphic  residue  when  stimulated  each  time  by  the 
pretended  action  of  the  experimenter  reproduced 
reflexly  the  specific  physiological  reaction  and,  so 
far  as  the  process  was  one  of  registration,  conserva- 
tion, and  reproduction,  it  was  an  act  of  psycho- 
physiological  memory. 

That  this  is  the  correct  interpretation  of  the  edu- 
cational mechanism  is  made  still  more  evident  by 
other  results  that  were  obtained;  for  it  was  found 

*  The  Work  of  the  Digestive  Glands  (English  Translation),  p. 
152. 


142  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

that  the  effective  psychical  stimulus  may  be  part  of 
wider  experiences  or  a  complex  of  ideas;  every- 
thing that  has  been  in  any  way  psychologically  as- 
sociated with  an  object  which  physiologically  ex- 
cites the  saliva  reflex  may  also  produce  it ;  the  plate 
which  customarily  contains  the  food,  the  furniture 
upon  which  it  stands;  the  person  who  brings  it; 
even  the  sound  of  the  voice  and  the  sound  of  the 
steps  of  this  person.* 

Indeed,  it  was  found  that  any  sensory  stimulus 
could  be  educated  into  one  that  would  induce  the 
flow  of  saliva,  if  the  stimulus  had  been  previously 
associated  with  food  which  normally  excited  the 
flow.  "Any  ocular  stimulus,  any  desired  sound,  any 
odor  that  might  be  selected,  and  the  stimulation  of 
any  part  of  the  skin,  either  by  mechanical  means  or 
by  the  application  of  heat  or  cold,  have  in  our  hands 
never  failed  to  stimulate  the  salivary  glands,  al- 
though they  were  all  of  them  at  one  time  supposed 
to  be  inefficient  for  such  a  purpose.  This  was  ac- 
complished by  applying  these  stimuli  simultane- 
ously with  the  action  of  the  salivary  glands,  this  ac- 
tion having  been  evolved  by  the  giving  of  certain 
kinds  of  food  or  by  forcing  certain  substances  into 
the  dog's  mouth,  "f  It  is  obvious  that  reflex  exci- 
tation thus  having  been  accomplished  by  the  edu- 
cation of  the  nerve  centers  to  a  previously  indiffer- 
ent stimulus  the  reproduction  of  the  process 

*  Psychische  Erregung  der  Speicheldrusen,  J.  P.  Pawlow.  Ergeb- 
nisse  der  Physiologie,  1904,  I  Abteil.,  p.  182. 

t  Huxley  Lecture,  Br.  Med.  Jour.,  October  6,  1906. 


NEUROGRAMS  143 

through  this  stimulus  is,  in  principle,  an  act  of 
physiological  memory.* 

The  experiences  of  the  dogs  embraced  quite  large 
systems  of  ideas  and  sensory  stimuli  which  in- 
cluded the  environment  of  persons  and  their  actions, 
the  furniture,  plates,  and  other  objects ;  and  various 
ocular,  auditory,  and  other  sensory  stimuli  applied 
arbitrarily  to  the  dogs.  All  these  experiences  had 
been  welded  into  an  associative  system  and  con- 
served as  neurograms.  Consequently  it  was  only 
necessary  to  stimulate  again  any  element  in  the 
neurogram  to  reproduce  the  whole  process,  includ- 
ing the  specific  salivary  reaction. 

We  shall  see  later  that  these  experiments  acquire 
additional  interest  from  the  fact  that  in  them  is  to 
be  found  the  fundamental  principle  of  what  under 
other  conditions  can  be  recognized  as  a  psycho- 
neurosis — an  abnormal  or  perverted  association 
and  memory.  The  effects  produced  by  this  associa- 
tion of  stimuli  may  be  regarded  as  the  germ  of  the 
habit  psychosis,  and  in  these  experiments  we  have 
experimental  demonstration  of  the  mechanism  of 
these  psychoses — but  this  is  another  story  which  we 
will  take  up  by  and  by. 

Recollection — This  is  as  good  a  place  as  any  other 
to  call  attention  to  a  certain  special  form  of  mem- 
ory. Kecollection  and  memory  are  not  synonymous 

*  Pawlow  overlooked  in  these  experiments  the  possible,  if  not 
probable,  intermediary  of  the  emotions  in  producing  the  effects. 
The  principle,  however,  would  not  be  affected  thereby. 


144  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

terms.  We  are  accustomed  to  think  of  memory  as 
including,  in  addition  to  other  qualities,  recollection, 
i.  e.,  what  is  called  localization  of  the  experience  in 
time  and  space.  It  connotes  an  awareness  of  the 
content  of  the  memory  having  been  once  upon  a  time 
a  previous  experience  which  is  more  or  less  accu- 
rately located  in  a  given  past  time  (yesterday,  or  a 
year  ago,  or  twenty  years  ago),  and  in  certain  local 
relations  of  space  (when  we  were  at  school,  or  rid- 
ing in  a  railway  car  with  so  and  so).  But,  as  Eibot 
points  out,  this  (relatively  to  physiological  mem- 
ories) is  ...  "only  a  certain  kind  of  memory 
which  we  call  perfect. ' '  For  we  have  just  seen  that, 
when  memory  is  considered  as  a  process,  repro- 
duced physiological  processes,  which  contain  no 
elements  of  consciousness  and  therefore  of  localiza- 
tion, may  be  memory.  But  more  than  this,  I  would 
insist,  recollection  is  only  a  more  perfect  kind  of 
conscious  memory.  Eibot  would  make  recollection 
a  peculiarity  of  all  conscious  memory,  but  this  is 
plainly  an  oversight.  As  we  saw  in  previous  lec- 
tures there  may  be  conscious  memories  which  do  not 
contain  any  element  of  recollection,  or,  in  other 
words,  such  conscious  memories  resemble  in  every 
way,  in  principle,  the  reproduction  of  organic  neuron 
processes  in  that  they  have  no  conscious  localization 
in  the  past.  In  dissociated  personalities,  for  in- 
stance, and  in  other  types  of  dissociated  conditions 
(functional  amnesia,  post-hypnotic  states,  etc.),  the 
names  of  persons,  places,  faces,  objects,  and  even 
complex  ideas  may  flash  into  the  mind  without  any 


NEUROGRAMS  145 

element  of  recollection.  The  person  may  have  no 
idea  whence  they  come,  but  by  experiment  it  is  easy 
to  demonstrate  that  they  are  automatic  memories 
of  past  experiences.*  In  the  sensory  automatisms 
known  as  crystal  visions,  pictures  which  accurately 
reproduce,  symbolically,  past  experiences  of  which 
the  subject  has  no  recollection  may  vividly  arise  in 
the  mind.  Such  pictures  are  real  conscious  sym- 
bolic memories.  Dreams,  too,  as  we  have  seen,  may 
be  unrecognized  memories  in  that  they  may  repro- 
duce conscious  experiences,  something  heard  or 
seen  perhaps,  but  which  has  been  completely  for- 
gotten even  when  awake.  Again,  modern  methods 
of  investigation  show  that  numerous  ideas  that  oc- 
cur in  the  course  of  our  everyday  thoughts — names, 
for  instance — are  excerpts  from,  or  vestiges  of,  pre- 
vious conscious  experiences  of  which  we  have  no 
recollection,  that  is  to  say,  they  are  memories,  re- 
productions of  formerly  experienced  ideas.  In  the 
absence  of  recollection  they  seem  to  belong  only  to 
the  present.  Memories  which  hold  an  intermediate 
place  between  these  automatic  memories  and  those 
of  true  recollection  are  certain  memories,  like  the 
alphabet  or  a  verse  or  phrase  once  learned  by  heart 
which  we  are  able  at  best  to  localize  only  dimly  in 
the  past.  Indeed,  the  greater  part  of  our  vocabu- 
lary is  but  conscious  memory  without  localization  in 

'Compare  "The  Dissociation,"  pp.  254,  261.  For  examples,  see 
also  "Multiple  Personality,"  by  Boris  Sidis,  and  "The  Lowell  Case 
of  Amnesia,"  by  Isador  Coriat,  The  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychol- 
ogy, Vol.  II,  p.  93. 


146  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  past.  So  we  see  that  recollection  is  not  an  es- 
sential even  for  conscious  memories.  It  is  only  a 
particular  phase  of  memory  just  as  are  automatic 
conscious  memories. 


LECTURE  VI 
SUBCONSCIOUS    PROCESSES 

In  what  I  have  said  thus  far  I  have  had  another 
purpose  in  view  than  that  of  a  mere  exposition  of 
the  psycho-physiological  theory  of  memory.  This 
other  and  chief  purpose  has  been  to  lay  the  founda- 
tion for  a  conception  of  the  Unconscious  in  its  larger 
aspect.  We  have  seen  that  thoughts  and  other  con-\ 
scious  experiences  that  have  passed  out  of  mind  may 
be  and  to  an  enormous  extent  are  conserved  and, 
from  this  point  of  view,  may  be  properly  regarded 
as  simply  dormant.  Further  we  have  seen  that  all 
the  data  collected  by  experimental  pathology  and 
other  observations  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  con- 
servation is  effected  in  the  form  of  neurographic 
residua  or  brain  neurograms — organized  physio- 
logical records  of  passing  mental  experiences  of  all 
sorts  and  kinds.  We  have  seen  that  these  neuro- 
graphic records  conserve  not  only  our  educational 
acquisitions  and  general  stock  of  knowledge — all 
those  experiences  which  we  remember — but  a  vast 
number  of  others  which  we  cannot  spontaneously 
recall,  including,  it  may  be,  many  which  date  back 
to  early  childhood,  and  many  which  we  have  delib- 
erately repressed,  put  out  of  mind  and  intentionally 

147 


148  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

forgotten.  We  have  also  seen  that  it  is  not  only 
these  mental  experiences  which  occupied  the  focus 
of  our  attention  that  leave  their  counterpart  in 
neurograms,  but  those  as  well  of  which  we  are  only 
partially  aware — absent-minded  thoughts  and  acts 
and  sensations  and  perceptions  which  never  entered 
our  awareness  at  all — subconscious  or  coconscious 
ideas  as  they  are  called.  Finally,  we  have  seen  that 
the  mental  experiences  of  every  state,  normal,  arti- 
ficial, or  pathological,  whatever  may  be  the  state  of 
the  personal  consciousness,  are  subject  to  the  same 
principle  of  conservation.  In  this  way,  in  the  course 
of  any  one 's  natural  life,  an  enormous  field  of  neuro- 
grams is  formed  representing  ideas  which  far  tran- 
scend in  multitude  and  variety  those  of  the  personal 
consciousness  at  any  given  moment  and  all  moments, 
and  which  are  far  beyond  the  voluntary  beck  and 
call  of  the  personal  consciousness  of  the  individual. 
Neurograms  are  concepts  and,  by  the  meaning  of 
the  concept,  they  are  unconscious.  It  is  not  neces- 
sary to  enter  into  the  question  whether  they  are  in 
their  ultimate  nature  psychical  or  physical.  That  is 
a  philosophical  question.*  They  are  at  any  rate  un- 
conscious in  this  sense;  they  are  devoid  of  con- 
sciousness, i.  e.,  have  none  of  the  psychological  at- 

*  I  forbear  to  enter  into  the  question  of  the  nature  of  conscious- 
ness and  matter.  In  the  last  analysis,  matter  and  mind  probably 
are  to  be  identified  as  different  manifestations  of  one  and  the  same 
principle — the  doctrine  of  monism — call  it  psychical,  spiritual,  or  ma- 
terial, or  energy,  as  you  like,  according  to  your  fondness  for  names. 
For  our  purpose  it  is  not  necessary  to  touch  this  philosophical  prob- 
lem as  we  are  dealing  only  with  specific  biological  experiences. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  149 

tributes  of  any  of  the  elements  of  consciousness, 
and  in  the  sense  in  which  any  physiological  ar- 
rangement or  process  is  not  conscious,  i.  e.,  is  un- 
conscious. We  have  here,  then,  in  the  concept  of 
brain  residual  neurograms  the  fundamental  mean- 
ing of  the  Unconscious.*  The  unconscious  is  the 
great  storehouse  of  neurograms  which  are  the 
physiological  records  of  our  mental  lives.  By  the 
terms  of  the  concept  neurograms  are  primarily  pas- 
sive— the  potential  form,  as  it  were,  in  which  psy- 
chical energy  is  stored.  This  is  not  to  say,  however, 
that,  from  moment  to  moment,  certain  ones  out  of 
the  great  mass  may  not  become  active  processes. 
On  the  contrary,  according  to  the  theory  of  memory, 
when  certain  complexes  of  neurograms  are  stimu- 

*  Also  quite  commonly  termed  the  Subconscious.  Unfortunately 
the  term  unconscious,  as  noun  or  adjective,  is  used  in  two  senses, 
viz.,  (1)  pertaining  to  unawareness  (for  example,  I  am  unconscious 
of  such  and  such  a  thing),  and  (2)  in  the  sense  of  not  having  the 
psychological  attribute  of  consciousness,  i.  e.,  non-conscious. 

In  the  first  sense  the  adjective  is  used,  as  in  the  phrase  "uncon- 
scious process"  to  define  a  process  of  which  we  are  unaware  without 
connotation  as  to  whether  it  is  a  psychological  process  or  a  brain 
process;  also  the  noun  (The  Unconscious)  is  used  to  signify  some- 
thing not  in  awareness  regardless  of  whether  that  something  is 
psychological  or  not;  on  the  other  hand,  as  an  adjective  it  is  also 
used,  as  in  the  phrase  "unconscious  ideas,"  to  specifically  signify 
real  ideas  of  which  we  are  unaware. 

In  the  second  sense,  as  noun  or  adjective,  it  is  used  to  denote 
specifically  brain  residua  or  processes,  which,  of  course,  are  devoid 
of  consciousness.  With  this  interchange  of  meaning  the  term  is 
apt  to  be  confusing  and  is  lacking  in  precision.  In  the  text  un 
conscious  will  Ite  used  always  with  the  second  meaning,  unless  in- 
verted commas  or  the  context  plainly  indicate  the  first  meaning. 
(Cf.  Lecture  VIII,  pp.  248-254). 


150  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

lated  they  take  on  activity  and  function — the  po- 
tential energy  becomes  converted  into  dynamic  en- 
ergy. In  correlation  with  the  functioning  of  such 
neurographic  complexes,  the  complexes  of  ideas 
which  they  conserve — the  psychological  equivalents 
— are  reproduced  (according  to  the  doctrines  of 
monism  and  parallelism)  and  enter  the  stream  of 
the  personal  consciousness.  The  unconscious  be- 
comes the  conscious  (monism),  or  provided  with 
correlated  conscious  accompaniments  (parallelism), 
and  we  may  speak  of  the  ideas  arising  out  of  the  un- 
conscious." 

Neurograms  may  also  function  as  subconscious  processes 
exhibiting  intelligence  and  determining  mental  and  bodily 
behavior — Here  two  important  questions  present 
themselves.  Is  it  a  necessary  consequence  that  when 
unconscious  neurograms  become  active  processes 
psychological  equivalents  must  be  awakened;  and 
when  they  are  awakened,  must  they  necessarily 
enter  the  stream  of  the  personal  consciousness?  If 
both  these  questions  may  be  answered  in  the  nega- 
tive, then  plainly  in  either  case  such  active  processes 
become  by  definition  subconscious  processes — of  an 
unconscious  nature  in  the  one  case  and  of  a  cocon- 
scious  nature  in  the  other.  They  would  be  subcon- 
scious because  in  the  first  place  they  would  occur 
outside  of  consciousness  and  there  is  no  awareness 
of  them,  and  in  the  second  place  they  would  be  a 
dissociated  second  train  of  processes  distinct  from 
those  engaged  in  the  conscious  stream  of  the  mo 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  151 

ment.  Theoretically  such  subconscious  processes, 
whether  unconscious  or  coconscious,  might  perform 
a  variety  of  functions  according  to  the  specificity  of 
their  activities. 

Now,  in  preceding  lectures,  when  marshalling  the 
evidence  for  conservation,  we  met  with  a  large  num- 
ber and  variety  of  phenomena  (automatic  writing, 
hallucinations,  post-hypnotic  phenomena,  dreams, 
''unconscious"  solution  of  problems,  etc.),  which 
clearly  demonstrated  that  memory  might  be  mani- 
fested by  processes  of  which  the  individual  was  un- 
aware and  which  were  outside  the  content  of  con- 
sciousness. Hence  these  phenomena  presented  very 
clear  evidence  of  the  occurrence  of  processes  that 
may  be  properly  termed  subconscious.*  Attention, 
however,  was  primarily  directed  to  them  only  so  far 
as  they  offered  evidence  of  conservation  and  of  the 
mode  by  which  conservation  was  effected.  But  nec- 
essarily these  evidences  were  subconscious  manifes- 
tations of  forgotten  experiences  (memory),  and  in 
so  far  as  this  was  the  case  we  saw  that  unconscious 
neurograms  can  take  on  activity  and  function  sub- 
consciously ;  i.  e.,  without  their  psychological  equiva- 
lents (i.  e.,  correlated  conscious  memory)  entering 
the  stream  of  the  personal  consciousness.  We  may 
now  speak  of  these  processes  as  subconscious  mem- 
ory. But  when  their  manifestations  are  carefully 
scrutinized  they  will  be  found  to  exhibit  more  than 
memory.  They  may,  for  instance,  exhibit  logical 

*  Also  termed  by  some  writers  unconscious.  (See  preceding  foot- 
note.) 


152  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

elaboration  of  the  original  experiences,  and  what 
corresponds  to  fabrication,  reasoning,  volition  and 
affectivity.  Theoretically  this  is  what  we  should 
expect  if  any  of  the  conserved  residual  experiences 
of  life  can  function  subconsciously.  As  life's  ex- 
periences include  fears,  doubts,  scruples,  wishes,  af- 
fections, resentments,  and  numerous  other  affective 
states,  innate  dispositions,  and  instincts,  the  subcon- 
scious memory  process  necessarily  may  include  any 
of  these  affective  complexes  of  ideas  and  tendencies. 
An  affective  complex  means  an  idea  (or  ideas) 
linked  to  one  or  more  emotions  and  feelings.  In 
other  words,  any  acquired  residua  drawn  from  the 
general  storehouse  of  life's  experiences  may  be  sys- 
tematized with  feelings  and  emotions,  the  innate 
dispositions  and  instincts  of  the  organism.  Now  it 
is  a  general  psychological  law  that  such  affective 
states  tend  by  the  force  of  their  conative  impulses 
to  carry  the  specific  ideas  with  which  they  are  sys- 
tematized to  fulfilment  through  mental  and  bodily 
behavior.  Consequently,  theoretically,  it  might 
thus  well  be  that  the  residua  of  diverse  experiences, 
say  a  fear  or  a  wish,  by  the  force  of  such  impulses 
might  become  activated  into  very  specific  subcon- 
scious processes  with  very  specific  tendencies  ex- 
pressing themselves  in  very  specific  ways,  produc- 
ing very  specific  and  diverse  phenomena.  Thus 
memory  would  be  but  one  of  the  manifestations  of 
subconscious  processes. 

Now,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  there  are  a  large  num- 
ber of  phenomena  which  not  only  justify  the  postu- 


SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES      153 

lation  of  subconscious  processes  but  also  the  infer- 
ence that  such  processes,  activated  by  their  affective 
impulses,  may  so  influence  conscious  thought  that 
the  latter  is  modified  in  various  ways ;  that  it  may  be 
determined  in  this  or  that  direction,  inhibited,  in- 
terrupted, distorted,  made  insistent,  and  given  pa- 
thological traits.  There  is  also  a  large  variety  of 
bodily  phenomena  which  can  be  explicitly  shown  to 
be  due  to  subconscious  processes,  and  many  which 
are  only  explicable  by  such  a  mechanism.  Indeed,  a 
subconscious  process  may  become  very  complex  and 
constellated  with  any  one  or  many  of  the  psycho- 
physiological  mechanisms  of  the  organism.  In  spe- 
cial artificial  and  pathological  conditions  where 
such  processes  reach  their  highest  development,  as 
manifested  through  their  phenomena,  they  may  ex- 
hibit that  which  when  consciously  performed  is  un- 
derstood to  be  intelligence,  comprising  reasoning, 
constructive  imagination,  volition,  and  feeling;  in 
short,  what  is  commonly  called  thought  or  mental 
processes.  Memory,  of  course,  enters  as  an  intrin- 
sic element  in  these  manifestations  just  as  it  is  an 
intrinsic  element  in  all  thought.  The  automatic 
script  that  describes  the  memories  of  a  long-forgot- 
ten childhood  experience  may  at  the  same  time  rea- 
son, indulge  in  jests,  rhyme,  express  cognition  and 
understanding  of  questions — indeed  (if  put  to  the 
test),  might  not  only  pass  a  Binet-Simon  examina- 
tion for  intelligence,  but  take  a  high  rank  in  a  Civil 
Service  examination.  In  these  more  elaborate  ex- 
hibitions of  subconscious  intelligence  it  is  obvious 


154  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

that  there  is  an  exuberant  efflorescence  of  the  re- 
sidua deposited  in  many  unconscious  fields  by  life 's 
experiences  and  synthesized  into  a  subconscious 
functioning  system. 

It  is  beyond  the  scope  of  this  lecture  to  examine 
into  the  particular  mechanism  by  which  a  subcon- 
scious process  is  provoked  at  all — why,  for  instance, 
a  dormant  wish  or  fear-neurogram  becomes  acti- 
vated into  a  subconscious  wish  or  fear,  or  having 
become  activated,  the  mechanism  by  which  such  a 
wish  or  fear  manifests  itself  in  this  phenomenon  or 
that — or  to  examine  even  any  large  number  of  the 
various  phenomena  which  are  provoked  by  subcon- 
scious processes,  and  it  is  not  my  intention  to  do  so. 
Such  problems  belong  to  special  psychology  and 
special  pathology.  Of  recent  years,  for  instance, 
certain  schools  of  psychology,  and  in  particular  the 
Freudian  school,  have  attempted  to  establish  par- 
ticular mechanisms  by  which  subconscious  processes 
come  into  being  and  express  themselves.  We  are 
engaged  in  the  preliminary  and  fundamental  task  of 
establishing,  if  possible,  certain  basic  principles 
which  any  mechanism  must  make  use  of,  and,  as  a 
deeper-lying  theoretical  question,  the  nature  of  such 
processes. 

The  subconscious  now  belongs  to  popular  speech 
and  it  is  the  fashion  of  the  day  to  speak  of  it  glibly 
enough,  but  I  fear  it  means  very  little  to  the  aver- 
age person.  It  is  involved  in  vagueness  if  not  mys- 
tery. Yet  as  a  necessary  induction  from  observed 
facts  it  has  a  very  precise  and  concrete  meaning 


SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES      155 

devoid  of  abtruseness,  just  as  the  other  has  a  pre- 
cise and  concrete  meaning.  Although  subconscious 
processes  were  originally  postulated  on  theoretical 
grounds,  the  theory  is  fortunately  open  to  experi- 
mental tests  so  that  it  is  capable  of  being  placed  on 
an  experimental  basis  like  other  concepts  of  science. 
It  is  possible  to  artificially  create  such  processes 
and  study  their  phenomena;  that  is  to  say,  the 
modes  in  which  they  manifest  their  activities,  their 
influence  upon  conscious  and  bodily  processes.  We 
can  study  their  effect  in  inhibiting  and  distorting 
thought,  in  determining  it  in  this  or  that  direction, 
in  creating  hallucinatory,  emotional,  amnesic,  and 
other  mental  phenomena,  in  inducing  physiological 
disturbances  of  motion,  sensation,  of  the  viscera, 
etc.  We  can  also  study  the  capabilities  and  limita- 
tions of  the  subconscious  in  carrying  on  intelligent 
operations  below  the  threshold  of  consciousness. 
Again,  we  can  investigate  the  phenomena  of  this 
kind  as  met  with  in  the  course  of  clinical  observa- 
tions, and  by  technical  methods  of  research  explore 
the  subconscious  and  thus  explicitly  reveal  the  proc- 
ess underlying  and  inducing  the  phenomena.  By 
such  methods  of  investigation  the  subconscious  has 
been  removed  from  the  field  of  speculative  psychol- 
ogy, and  placed  in  the  field  of .  experimental  re- 
search. We  have  thus  been  enabled  to  postulate  a 
subconscious  process  as  a  definite  concrete  process 
producing  very  definite  phenomena.  These  proc- 
esses and  their  phenomena  have  become  a  field  of 
study  in  themselves  and,  from  my  point  of  view, 


156  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  determination  of  the  laws  of  the  subconscious 
should  be  approached  by  such  experimental  and 
technical  methods  of  research.  After  its  various 
modes  of  activity,  its  capabilities  and  limitations 
have  been  in  this  way  established,  its  laws  can  then 
be  applied  to  the  solution  of  conditions  surround- 
ing particular  problems.  Though  we  can  determine 
the  actuality  of  a  particular  subconscious  process 
this  does  not  mean  that  we  can  determine  all  the 
components  of  that  process ;  we  may  be  able  to  de- 
termine many  or  perhaps  none  of  these:  just  as 
among  the  constituents  of  a  crowd  we  may  discern 
an  active,  turbulent  group  creating  a  disturbance, 
though  we  may  not  be  able  to  recognize  all  the  com- 
ponents of  the  group  or  the  scattered  individuals 
acting  in  conjunction  with  it.  Nor  may  we  be  able 
to  determine  the  intrinsic  nature  of  a  subconscious 
process — whether  it  is  a  conscious  or  unconscious 
one,  but  only  the  actuality  of  the  process,  the  con- 
ditions of  its  activity,  and  the  phenomena  which  it 
induces. 

A  subconscious  process  may  be  provisionally  de- 
fined as  one  of  which  the  personality  is  unaware, 
which,  therefore,  is  outside  the  personal  conscious- 
ness, and  which  is  a  factor  in  the  determination  of 
conscious  and  b.odily  phenomena,  or  produces  ef- 
fects analogous  to  those  ivhich  might  be  directly  or 
indirectly  induced  by  consciousness.  It  would  be 
out  of  the  question  at  this  time  to  enter  into  an  ex- 
position of  the  larger  subject — the  multiform  phe- 
nomena of  the  subconscious,  but  as  its  processes  are 


SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES  157 

fundamental  to  an  understanding  of  many  phenom- 
ena with  which  we  shall  have  to  deal,  we  should 
have  a  clear  understanding  of  the  grounds  on  which 
such  processes  are  postulated  as  specific,  concrete 
occurrences.  The  classical  demonstration  of  sub-  [ 
conscious  occurrences  makes  use  of  certain  phenom- 
ena of  hysteria,  particularly  those  of  subconscious 
personalities  and  artificial  "automatic"  phenomena 
like  automatic  writing.  The  epoch-making  re- 
searches of  Janet  *  on  hysterics  and  almost  coinci- 
dently  with  him  of  Edmund  Gurney  on  hypnotics 
very  clearly  established  the  fact  that  these  phenom- 
ena are  the  manifestations  of  dissociated  processes 
outside  of  and  independent  of  the  personal  con- 
sciousness. Among  the  phenomena,  for  example, 
are  motor  activities  of  various  kinds  such  as  ordi- 
narily are  or  may  be  induced  by  conscious  intelli- 
gence. As  the  individual,  owing  to  anesthesia,  may 
be  entirely  unaware  even  that  he  has  performed  any 
such  act,  the  process  that  performed  it  must  be  one 
that  is  subconscious. 

The  intrinsic  nature  of  subconscious  processes. — Janet 
further  brought  forward  indisputable  evidence  show- 
ing that  in  hysteria  these  subconscious  processes 
are  real  coconscious  processes.  It  is  only  another 
mode  of  expressing  this  to  say  that  there  is  a  dis- 
sociation or  division  of  consciousness  in  conse- 
quence of  which  certain  ideas  do  not  enter  the  con- 

*  Pierre  Janet :  L  'automatisme  psychologique,  Paris,  1889,  and 
numerous  other  works. 


158  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tent  of  the  personal  consciousness  of  the  individual. 
It  is  possible,  as  he  was  the  first  to  show,  to  commu- 
nicate with  and,  in  hypnotic  and  other  dissociated 
states,  recover  memories  of  these  split-off  ideas  of 
which  the  individual  is  unaware,  and  thereby  estab- 
lish the  principle  that  these  ideas  are  the  subcon- 
scious process  which  induces  the  hysterical  phenom- 
ena. (These  phenomena  are  of  a  great  many  kinds 
and  include  sensory  as  well  as  motor  automatisms, 
inhibition  of  thought  and  will,  deliria,  visceral,  emo- 
tional, and  other  disturbances  of  mind  and  body.) 
The  hysterical  subconscious  process  is  thus  deter- 
mined to  be  a  very  specific  concrete  coconscious  proc- 
ess, one,  the  elements  of  which  are  memories  and 
other  particular  ideas.  This  type  of  subconscious 
process,  therefore,  may  be  regarded  as  the  activated 
residua  of  antecedent  experiences  with  or  without 
secondary  elaboration.  All  subsequent  investiga- 
tions during  the  past  twenty-five  years  have  served 
but  to  confirm  the  accuracy  of  Janet's  observations 
and  conclusions.  It  would  be  out  of  the  question  at 
this  time,  before  coconscious  ideas  have  been  sys- 
tematically studied,  to  attempt  to  present  the  evi- 
dence on  which  this  interpretation  of  certain  sub- 
conscious phenomena  rests.  This  will  be  done  in 
other  lectures.*  I  will  simply  say  that  this  evi- 
dence for  coconsciousness  occurring  in  certain  spe- 
cial conditions,  artificial  and  pathological,  and  per- 
haps as  a  constituent  of  the  normal  content  of  con- 
sciousness, is  of  precisely  the  same  character  as 

*  Not  included  in  this  volume. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  159 

that  for  the  occurrence  of  consciousness  in  any 
other  individual  but  one 's  self.  If  we  reject  the  evi- 
dence of  hysterical  phenomena,  of  that  furnished 
by  a  coconscious  personality,  and  by  automatic 
script  and  speech,  etc.,  we  shall  have  to  reject  pre- 
cisely similar  evidence  for  consciousness  in  other 
people  than  ourselves.*  The  evidence  is  explicit 
and  not  implied. 

A  subconscious  personality  is  a  condition  where  (^ 
complexes  of  subconscious  processes  have  been  con- 
stellated into  a  personal  system,  manifesting  a  sec- 
ondary system  of  self-consciousness  endowed  with 
volition,  intelligence,  etc.  Such  a  subconscious  per- 
sonality is  capable  of  communicating  with  the  ex- 
perimenter and  describing  its  own  mental  processes. 
It  can,  after  repression  of  the  primary  personality, 
become  the  sole  personality  for  the  time  being,  and 
then  remember  its  previous  subconscious  life,  as  we 
all  remember  our  past  conscious  life,  and  can  give 
full  and  explicit  information  regarding  the  nature 
of  the  subconscious  process.  By  making  use  of  the 
testimony  of  a  subconscious  personality  and  its  va- 
rious manifestations,  we  can  not  only  establish  the 

*  Cf .  Prince :  The  Dissociation ;  also  A  Symposium  on  the  Sub- 
conscious, Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  June- July,  1907;  Ex- 
periments to  Determine  Coconscious  (Subconscious)  Ideation,  Jour- 
nal of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-May,  1908;  Experiments  in 
Psycho-Galvanic  Reactions  from  Coconscious  (Subconscious)  Ideas  in 
a  Case  of  Multiple  Personality,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology, 
June- July,  1908;  The  Subconscious  [Rapports  et  Comptes  Eendus, 
6me  Congres  International  de  Psychologic,  1909] ;  also,  My  Life  as 
a  Dissociated  Personality,  by  B.  C.  A.,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychol- 
ogy, October-November,  1908. 


160  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

actuality  of  subconscious  processes  and  their  intrin- 
sic nature  in  these  conditions,  but  by  prearrange- 
ment  with  this  personality  predetermine  any  par- 
ticular process  we  desire  and  study  the  modes  in 
which  it  influences  conscious  thought  and  conduct. 
For  instance,  we  can  prescribe  a  conflict  between 
the  subconsciousness  and  the  personal  conscious- 
ness, between  a  subconscious  wish  and  a  conscious 
wish,  or  volition,  and  observe  the  resultant  mental, 
and  physical  behavior,  which  may  be  inhibition  of 
thought,  hallucinations,  amnesia,  motor  phenomena, 
etc.  The  possibilities  and  limitations  of  subcon- 
scious influences  can  in  this  way  be  experimentally 
studied.  Subconscious  personalities,  therefore, 
afford  a  valuable  means  for  studying  the  mechanism 
of  the  mind.* 

*  The  conclusion,  then,  seems  compulsory  that  the 
subconscious  processes  in  many  conditions,  particu- 
larly those  that  are  artificially  induced  and  those 
that  are  pathological,  are  coconscious  processes. 

There  are  other  phenomena,  however,  which  re- 
quire the  postulation  of  a  subconscious  process,  yet 
which,  when  the  subconscious  is  searched  by  the 

*  The  value  of  subconscious  personalities  for  this  purpose  has 
been  overlooked,  owing,  I  suppose,  to  such  conditions  being  unusual 
and  bizarre,  and  the  assumption  that  they  have  little  in  common  with 
ordinary  subconscious  processes.  But  it  ought  to  be  obvious  that  in 
principle  it  makes  little  difference  whether  a  subconscious  system  is 
constellated  into  a  large  self-conscious  system  called  a  personality, 
or  whether  it  is  restricted  to  a  system  limited  to  a  few  particular 
coconscious  ideas.  In  the  former  case  the  possibilities  of  its  inter- 
fering with  the  personal  consciousness  may  be  more  extended  and 
more  influential,  that  is  all. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  161 

same  methods  made  use  of  in  hysterical  phenomena, 
do  not  reveal  explicit  evidence  of  coconsciousness. 
An  analysis  of  the  subconscious  revelations  as  well 
as  the  phenomena  themselves  seems  to  favor  the 
interpretation  that  in  some  cases  the  underlying 
process  is  in  part  and  in  others  wholly  unconscious. 
The  only  ground  for  the  interpretation  that  all  sub- 
conscious processes  are  wholly  conscious  is  the 
assumption  that,  as  some  are  conscious,  all  must  be. 
This  is  as  unsound  as  the  assumption  that,  because 
at  the  other  end  of  the  scale  some  complex  actions 
(e.  g.,  those  performed  by  decerebrated  animals) 
are  intelligent  and  yet  performed  by  processes 
necessarily  unconscious,  'therefore  all  actions  not 
under  the  guidance  of  the  personal  consciousness 
are  performed  by  unconscious  processes. 

If  some  subconscious  processes  are  unconscious 
they  are  equivalent  to  physiological  processes  such 
as,  ex  hypothesi,  are  correlated  with  all  conscious 
processes  and  perhaps  may  be  identified  with  them. 
In  truth,  they  mean  nothing  more  nor  less  than  "un- 
conscious cerebration. ' ' 

We  can  say  at  once  that  considering  the  complex- 
ity and  multiformity  of  psycho-physiological  phe- 
nomena there  would  seem  to  be  no  a  priori  reason 
why  all  subconscious  phenomena  must  be  the  same 
in  respect  to  being  either  coconscious  or  unconscious ; 
some  may  be  the  one  and  some  the  other.  It  is 
plainly  a  matter  of  interpretation  of  the  facts  and 
there  still  exists  some  difference  of  opinion.  The 
problem  is  a  very  difficult  one  to  settle  by  methods 


162  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

at  present  available;  yet  it  can  only  be  settled  by 
the  same  methods,  in  principle,  that  we  depend  upon 
to  determine  the  reality  of  a  personal  consciousness 
in  other  persons  than  ourselves.  No  amount  of  a 
priori  argument  will  suffice.  Perhaps  some  day  a 
criterion  of  a  conscious  state  of  which  the  individual 
is  unaware  will  be  found,  just  as  the  psycho-galvanic 
phenomenon  is  possibly  a  criterion  of  an  effective 
state.  Any  conclusions  which  we  reach  at  present 
should  be  regarded  as  provisional.* 

SPECIAL   PROBLEMS  OF   THE   SUBCONSCIOUS 

As  one  of  our  foremost  psychologists  has  said, 
the  subconscious  is  not  only  the  most  important 
problem  of  psychology,  it  is  the  problem.  But  of 


*  Of  course,  from  a  practical  (clinical)  point  of  view,  it  is  of  no 
consequence  whether  given  phenomena  are  induced  by  coconscious  or 
unconscious  processes;  the  individual  is  not  aware  of  either.  Let  me 
answer,  however,  a  strange  objection  that  has  been  made  to  such 
an  inquiry.  It  has  been  objected  that  as  it  makes  no  practical 
difference  whether  the  subconscious  process,  which  induces  a  given 
phenomenon,  is  coconscious  or  unconscious,  and  as  in  many  given 
cases  it  is  difficult  or  impossible  to  determine  the  question,  therefore, 
that  such  inquiries  are  useless.  Plainly  such  an  objection  only 
concerns  applied  science,  not  science  itself.  It  concerns  only  the 
practicing  physician  who  deals  solely  with  reactions.  Likewise  it 
makes  no  difference  to  the  practicing  chemist  whether  some  atoms 
are  positive  and  some  negative  ions,  and  whether  on  further  analysis 
they  are  systems  of  electrons,  and  whether,  again,  electrons  are  points 
of  electricity.  The  practical  chemist  deals  only  with  reactions.  Such 
questions,  however,  having  to  do  with  the  ultimate  nature  of  matter 
are  of  the  highest  interest  to  science.  Likewise  the  nature  of  sub- 
conscious processes  is  of  the  highest  interest  to  psychological  science. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  163 

course  it  involves  many  problems  of  practical  and 
theoretical  interest.  Among  them  are: 

First  of  all  the  evidential  justification  of  the 
postulation  of  subconscious  processes  in  general. 

Second;  the  intrinsic  nature  of  such  processes. 
In  other  words  and  more  specifically,  whether  the 
neurograms  of  experiences  after  becoming  active 
subconscious  processes  continue  to  be  devoid  of  con- 
sciousness, nothing  but  a  brain  process, — i.  e.,  un- 
conscious; or  whether  in  becoming  activated  they 
become  conscious  (monism),  or  acquire  conscious 
equivalents  (parallelism),  notwithstanding  they  are 
outside  (dissociated  from)  the  content  of  the  per- 
sonal consciousness. 

Third;  the  kind  and  complexity  of  functions  a 
subconscious  process  can  perform.  Can  it  perform 
the  same  functions  as  are  ordinarily  performed  by 
conscious  intelligence  (as  we  commonly  understand 
that  term) ;  that  is  to  say  memory,  perception,  rea- 
soning, imagination,  volition,  affectivity,  etc.?  If 
so,  to  what  extent? 

Fourth;  are  the  processes  of  the  conscious  mind 
only  a  part  of  a  larger  mechanism  of  which  a  sub- 
merged part  is  a  subconscious  process? 

Fifth;  to  what  extent  can  and  do  subconscious 
processes  determine  the  processes  of  the  conscious 
mind  and  bodily  behavior  in  normal  and  abnormal 
conditions? 

These  are  some  of  the  problems  of  the  subcon- 
scious which  for  the  most  part  have  been  only  in- 
completely investigated. 


164  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

It  is,  of  course,  beyond  the  scope  of  these  intro- 
ductory lectures  to  discuss  with  any  completeness 
the  evidence  at  hand  bearing  upon  these  problems 
or  to  even  touch  upon  many  of  the  points  involved. 
We  may,  however,  study  more  deeply  than  we  have 
done  some  of  the  phenomena  with  which  we  have 
become  familiar  with  a  view  to  seeing  what  light 
they  throw  upon  some  of  these  problems,  particu- 
larly the  first  three. 

1,  2,  and  3;  Actuality,  Intrinsic  Nature  and  Intelligence 
of  Subconscious  Processes. — As  to  the  first  question, 
whether  subconscious  processes  can  be  established 
in  principle  as  a  sound  induction  from  experimental 
and  clinical  facts  and  not  merely  as  a  hypothetical 
concept,  I  have  already  pointed  out  that  many  mani- 
festations of  conservation  already  cited  in  the  ex- 
position of  the  theory  of  memory  are  of  equal  evi- 
dential value  for  the  actuality  of  such  processes. 
Let  us  now  consider  them  in  more  detail  from  the 
point  of  view,  more  particularly,  of  the  second  and 
third  questions — the  intrinsic  nature  (whether  co- 
conscious  or  unconscious)  and  intelligence  of  the 
underlying  processes  at  work.  In  any  given  case 
however  the  actuality  of  the  subconscious  process 
must  always  be  first  demonstrated. 

If  we  leave  aside  those  conditions  (hysteria,  cocon- 
scious  personalities)  wherein  specific  memory  of  a 
coconscious  process  can  be  recovered,  or  such  a 
process  can  be  directly  communicated  with  (auto- 
matic writing  and  speech),  the  conditions  required 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  165 

for  the  valid  postulation  of  a  subconscious  process 
underlying  any  given  phenomenon  are:  first,  that 
the  causal  factor  shall  be  positively  known;  second, 
that  it  shall  be  an  antecedent  experience ;  and,  third, 
that  it  shall  not  be  in  the  content  of  consciousness 
at  the  moment  of  the  occurrence  of  the  phenomenon. 
If  the  causal  factor  and  the  phenomenon  are  both 
known,  then  the  only  unknown  factor  to  be  deter- 
mined is  the  process,  if  any,  intervening  between 
the  two.  If  this  is  not  in  consciousness,  a  subcon- 
scious process  must  be  postulated. 

Obviously,  if  the  known  causal  factor  is  immedi- 
ately related  to  the  caused  phenomenon,  the  sub- 
conscious process  must  be  the  causal  factor  itself. 
But  if  the  known  causal  factor  is  not  immediately 
related  to  the  caused  phenomenon,  there  must  be  an 
intervening  process  which  must  be  subconscious, 
perhaps  consisting  of  a  succession  of  processes 
eventuating  in  the  final  phenomenon.  For  instance, 
if  the  causal  factor  is  a  hypnotic  suggestion  (for 
which  there  is  afterwards  amnesia)  that  the  sub- 
ject when  awake  shall  automatically  raise  the  right 
arm,  a  subconscious  process  wThich  is  the  memory  of 
that  suggestion  immediately  provokes  the  automatic 
phenomenon.  If,  however,  the  suggestion  is  that 
of  a  series  of  automatic  actions  involving  compli- 
cated behavior,  or  if  it  is  a  mathematical  calculation, 
the  intervening  process  which  provokes  the  end  re- 
sult must  not  only  be  subconscious  but  must  be  a 
more  or  less  complicated  succession  of  processes. 

When,  on  the  other  hand,  the  causal  factor  is  not 


166  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

known  but  only  inferred  with  greater  or  less  prob- 
ability, the  justification  of  the  postulation  of  a  sub- 
conscious process  may  be  invalidated  by  the  uncer- 
tainty of  the  inference.  If  for  example  a  person 
raises  his  right  hand  or  has  a  number  come  into 
his  head  without  obvious  cause,  any  Inferred  ante- 
cedent experience  as  the  causal  factor  must  be  open 
to  more  or  less  doubt,  and,  therefore,  a  subconscious 
process  cannot  be  postulated  with  certainty.  This 
uncertainty  seriously  affects  the  validity  of  con- 
clusions drawn  from  clinical  phenomena  where  the 
antecedent  experience  as  well  as  a  subconscious  proc- 
ess must  be  inferred  and  perhaps  even  a  matter  of 
guesswork. 

Let  us  examine  then,  a  few  selected  phenomena 
where  the  causal  factor  in  the  process  is  a  known 
antecedent  conscious  experience,  one  which  can  be 
logically  related  to  the  succeeding  phenomenon  only 
by  the  postulation  of  an  intervening  process  of 
some  kind.  By  an  analysis  of  the  antecedent  ex- 
perience and  the  caused  phenomenon  into  their  con- 
stituent elements  we  shall  often  be  able  to  infer 
the  functional  characteristics  of  this  intervening 
process.  Then,  if  the  subject  is  a  favorable  one, 
by  the  use  of  hypnotic  and  other  methods  we  may 
be  able  to  obtain  an  insight  into  the  intrinsic  nature 
of  the  subconscious  process  and  determine  how  far 
it  is  conscious  and  how  far  unconscious.  Neces- 
sarily the  most  available  phenomena  are  those  ex- 
perimentally induced.  We  can  arrange  beforehand 
the  causal  experience  and  the  phenomenon  which  it 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  167 

is  to  determine — an  hallucination,  a  motor  automa- 
tism, a  dream,  a  conscious  process  of  thought,  or 
the  product  of  an  intellectual  operation.  The  num- 
ber of  observations  we  shall  examine  might  be  made 
much  larger  and  the  types  more  varied.  Those  I  have 
selected  have  such  close  analogies  with  certain  expe- 
riences of  everyday  and  pathological  life  that  what  is 
found  to  be  true  of  them  will  afford  valuable  funda- 
mentals in  the  elucidation  of  these  latter  experiences.* 

Subconscious  processes  in  which  the  causal  factor  was 
antecedently  known — I.  The  evidential  value  of  post- 
hypnotic  phenomena  ranks  perhaps  in  the  first  place 
for  our  purpose  as  the  conditions  under  which  they 
occur  are  largely  under  control.  Among  these 
showing  subconscious  processes  of  a  high  order  of 
intelligence  are : 

(a)  The  well-known  subconscious  mathematical 
calculations  which  I  cited  in  a  previous  lecture 
(p.  96).  There  is  no  possible  explanation  of  this 
phenomenon  except  that  the  calculation  was  a  sub- 
conscious process  and  done  either  coconsciously  or 
unconsciously.  That  it  may  be  done,  in  some 
cases,  by  coconscious  processes  of  which  the  subject 
is  unaware  is  substantiated  by  the  evidence.f  In 

*  I  have  passed  over  the  classical  hysterical  phenomena  as  they 
open  a  very  large  subject  which  needs  a  special  treatment  by  itself. 
The  subconscious  processes  underlying  them,  so  far  as  they  have 
been  determined,  are,  as  I  have  explained,  admittedly  coconscious, 
though  some  may  be  in  part  unconscious.  They  are  too  complicated 
to  be  entered  into  here. 

t  Prince:  Experiments  to  Determine  Coconscious  (Subconscious) 
Ideation,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-May,  1908. 


168  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

other  cases  this  does  not  appear  to  be  wholly  the 
case  if  we  can  rely  upon  hypnotic  memories.  We 
will  examine  this  process  in  connection  with: 

(b)  A  second  class  of  post-hypnotic  phenomena, 
namely,  those  of  suggested  actions  carried  out  by 
the  subject  more  or  less  automatically,  in  a  sort  of 
absent-minded  way,  without  his  being  aware  of 
what  he  is  doing.  The  subject  is  directed  in  hyp- 
nosis to  perform  such  or  such  an  action  after  being 
awakened.  Sometimes  the  suggested  action  is  per- 
formed consciously,  the  suggested  ideas  with  their 
impulses  arising  in  his  mind,  but  without  his  know- 
ing why.  In  other  instances,  however,  he  performs 
the  action  automatically  without  being  consciously 
aware  at  the  moment  that  he  is  doing  it,  his  atten- 
tion being  directed  toward  something  else.  Such 
actions  must  be  performed  by  some  kind  of  subcon- 
scious processes  instigated  by  the  ideas  suggested  in 
hypnosis. 

Now  hypnotic  and  other  technically  evoked  mem- 
ories sometimes  reveal  the  conscious  content  of  the 
processes  involved  in  both  classes  of  phenomena. 
For  instance :  two  intelligent  subjects,  who  have 
been  the  object  of  extensive  observations  on  this 
point,  are  able  to  recall  in  hypnosis  the  previous 
occurrence  of  coconscious  ideas  of  a  peculiar  char- 
acter. The  description  of  these  ideas  has  been  very 
precise  and  has  carried  a  conviction,  I  believe,  to 
all  those  who  have  had  an  opportunity  to  be  present 
at  these  observations  that  these  recollections  were 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  169 

true  memories  and  not  fabrications.*  The  state- 
ments of  these  subjects  is  that  in  their  own  cases, 
under  certain  conditions  of  everyday  life,  cocon- 
scious  ideas  of  ivhich  the  principal  consciousness  is 
not  aware  emerge  into  the  subconscious,  persist  for 
a  longer  or  shorter  time,  and  then  subside  to  be  re- 
placed by  others.  So  long  as  the  conditions  of  their 
occurrence  continue  these  coconscious  ideas  keep 
coming  and  going,  interchanging  with  one  another. 
Sometimes  these  ideas  take  the  form  of  images,  or 
what  is  described  as  visual  "pictures."  When  the 
conditions  are  those  of  the  subconscious  solution  of 
a  mathematical  calculation  then  the  same  ' '  pictures ' ' 
occur  and  take  the  form  of  the  figures  involved  in 
the  calculation ;  the  figures  come  and  go,  apparently 
add,  subtract,  and  multiply  themselves  until  the 
final  result  appears  in  figures.  An  example  will 
make  this  clear. 

While  the  subject  was  in  hypnosis  the  problem 
was  given  to  add  458  and  367,  the  calculation  to  be 

*  Among  these  I  might  mention  the  names  of  a  dozen  or  more 
well-known  psychologists  and  physicians  of  experience  and  repute  who 
have  observed  one  or  both  of  these  cases.  Through  the  kindness  of 
Dr.  G.  A.  Waterman  I  have  had  an  opportunity  to  investigate  a 
third  case,  one  of  his  patients,  who  described  similar  coconscious 
"pictures"  accompanying  certain  impulsive  conscious  acts.  The  pic- 
tures, when  of  persons,  were  described  as  ' '  life  size, ' '  and  were 
likened  to  those  of  a  cinematograph.  Also,  as  with  one  of  my  cases, 
suggested  post-hypnotic  actions  were  accompanied  by  such  cocon- 
scious pictures  representing  in  successive  stages  the  act  to  be  per- 
formed. An  analysis  of  both  the  impulsive  and  the  suggested  phe- 
nomena seemed  to  clearly  show  that  the  pictures  emerged  from  a 
deeper  lying  submerged  process  induced  by  the  residuum  of  a  dream 
and  of  the  suggestion,  respectively. 


170  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

done  subconsciously  after  she  was  awake.  The 
problem  was  successfully  accomplished  in  the  usual 
way.  The  mode  in  which  the  calculation  was 
effected  was  then  investigated  with  the  following 
result :  In  what  may  be  termed  for  convenience  the 
secondary  consciousness,  i.  e.,  the  subconsciousness, 
the  numbers  458  and  367  appeared  as  distinct  visu- 
alizations. These  numbers  were  placed  one  over 
the  other,  "with  a  line  underneath  them  such  as 
one  makes  in  adding.  The  visualization  kept  com- 
ing and  going;  sometimes  the  line  was  crooked  and 
sometimes  it  was  straight.  The  secondary  con- 
sciousness did  not  do  the  sum  at  once,  but  by  piece- 
meal. It  took  a  long  time  before  it  was  completed. ' ' 
The  sum  was  not  apparently  done  as  soon  as  one 
would  do  it  when  awake,  by  volitional  calculation, 
"but  rather  the  figures  added  themselves,  in  a  curi- 
ous sort  of  way.  The  numbers  were  visualized  and 
the  visualization  kept  coming  and  going  and  the 
columns  at  different  times  added  themselves,  as  it 
seemed,  the  result  appearing  at  the  bottom."  In 
another  problem  (453  to  be  multiplied  by  6)  the 
process  was  described  as  follows:  The  numbers 
were  visualized  in  a  line,  thus,  453  x  6.  Then  the 
6  arranged  itself  under  the  453.  The  numbers  kept 
coming  and  going  the  same  as  before.  Sometimes, 
however,  they  added  themselves,  and  sometimes  the 
6  subtracted  itself  from  the  larger  number.  Finally, 
however,  the  result  was  obtained.  As  in  the  first 
problem,  the  numbers  kept  coming  and  going  in  the 
secondary  consciousness  until  the  problem  was 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  171 

solved  and  then  they  ceased  to  appear.  It  is  to  be 
understood,  of  course,  that  the  principal  or  per- 
sonal consciousness  was  not  aware  of  these  cocon- 
scious  figures,  or  even  that  any  calculation  was 
being  or  to  be  performed. 

In  suggested  post-hypnotic  actions,  the  pictures 
that  come  and  go  correspond  to  and  represent  the 
details  of  the  action  as  it  is  carried  out.  Each 
detail  is  preceded  or  accompanied  by  its  coconscious 
image  or  picture.  Likewise,  when  somatic  phe- 
nomena have  followed  dreams,  pictures  represent- 
ing certain  elements  of  the  dream  have  appeared 
as  secondary  conscious  states.  When  the  subject 
has  been  disturbed  by  some  unsolved  moral  or  social 
problem  (not  suggested)  the  pictures  have  been 
symbolic  representations  of  the  disturbing  doubts 
and  scruples.* 

One  of  these  two  subjects,  while  in  hypnosis  and 
able  to  recollect  what  goes  on  in  the  secondary  con- 
sciousness, thus  describes  the  coconscious  process 
during  the  spontaneous  subconscious  solution  of 
problems.  "When  a  problem  on  which  my  waking 
self  is  engaged  remains  unsettled,  it  is  still  kept  in 
mind  by  the  secondary  consciousness  even  though 
put  aside  by  my  waking  self.  My  secondary  con- 
sciousness often  helps  me  to  solve  problems  which 
my  waking  consciousness  has  found  difficulty  in 
doing.  But  it  is  not  my  secondary  consciousness 

*  Cf .  Lecture  IV.  These  coconscious  pictures  are  so  varied  and 
occur  in  so  many  relations  that  they  need  to  be  studied  by  them- 
selves. 


172  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

that  accomplishes  the  final  solution  itself,  but  it 
helps  in  the  following  way:  Suppose,  for  instance, 
I  am  trying  to  translate  a  difficult  passage  in  Vir- 
gil. I  work  at  it  for  some  time  and  am  puzzled. 
Finally,  unable  to  do  it,  I  put  it  aside,  leaving  it 
unsolved.  I  decide  that  it  is  not  worth  bothering 
about  and  so  put  it  out  of  my  mind.  But  it  is  a 
mistake  to  say  you  put  it  out  of  your  mind.  What 
you  do  is,  you  put  it  into  your  mind ;  that  is  to  say, 
you  don't  put  it  out  of  your  mind  if  the  problem 
remains  unsolved  and  unsettled.  By  putting  it  into 
your  mind  I  mean  that,  although  the  waking  con- 
sciousness may  have  put  it  aside,  the  problem  still 
remains  in  the  secondary,  consciousness.  In  the 
example  I  used  the  memory  of  the  passage  from 
Virgil  would  be  retained  persistently  by  my  secon- 
dary consciousness.  Then  from  time  to  time  a 
whole  lot  of  fragmentary  memories  and  thoughts 
connected  with  the  passage  would  arise  in  this  con- 
sciousness. Some  of  these  thoughts,  perhaps,  would 
be  memories  of  the  rules  of  grammar,  or  different 
meanings  of  words  in  the  passage,  in  fact,  anything 
I  had  read,  or  thought,  or  experienced  in  connection 
with  the  problem.  These  would  not  be  logical,  con- 
nected thoughts,  and  they  would  not  solve  the  prob- 
lem. My  secondary  consciousness  does  not  actually 
do  this,  i.  e.,  in  the  example  taken,  translate  the 
passage.  The  translation  is  not  effected  here.  But 
later  when  my  waking  consciousness  thinks  of  the 
problem  again,  these  fragmentary  thoughts  of  my 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  173 

secondary  consciousness  arise  in  my  mind,  and  with 
this  information  I  complete  the  translation.  The 
actual  translation  is  put  together  by  my  waking 
consciousness.*  I  am  not  conscious  of  the  fact  that 
these  fragments  of  knowledge  existed  previously  in 
my  secondary  consciousness.  I  do  not  remember 
a  problem  ever  to  have  been  solved  by  the  secondary 
consciousness.!  It  is  always  solved  by  the  waking 
self,  although  the  material  for  solving  it  may  come 
from  the  secondary.  When  my  waking  conscious- 
ness solves  it  in  this  way,  the  solution  seems  to 
come  in  a  miraculous  sort  of  way,  sometimes  as  if 
it  came  to  me  from  somewhere  else  than  my  own 

*  This,  of  course,  so  far  as  she  could  determine  from  the  data 
of  memory.  The  more  correct  interpretation  probably  is  that 
the  thoughts  of  the  ' '  secondary  consciousness ' '  were  supplied  by  a 
still  deeper  underlying  subconscious  process,  certain  elements  of  which 
emerged  as  dissociated  conscious  states  (not  in  the  focus  of  atten- 
tion). This  same  process  probably  was  the  real  agent  in  doing  the 
actual  translation,  and  later  thrust  the  necessary  data  into  awareness 
in  such  fashion  that  the  translation  seemed  to  be  performed  con- 
sciously. If  all  the  required  data  is  supplied  to  consciousness  the 
problem  is  thereby  done. 

t  The  subject  here,  of  course,  refers  not  to  experimental  but  to 
spontaneous  solutions.  When  experimentally  performed  the  whole 
problem  was  solved  subconsciously.  Furthermore,  a  memory  of  a  de- 
tail of  this  kind  of  remote  experiences  obviously  would  not  be  re- 
liable, but  only  immediately  after  an  experience.  In  fact,  sponta- 
neous solutions  sometimes  occurred  entirely  subconsciously.  (Cf. 
Lecture  VII.)  In  the  experimental  calculation  experiments  the 
solution  is  made  subconsciously  in  accordance  with  the  prescribed 
conditions  of  the  experiment.  In  other  observations  on  this  sub- 
ject the  coconscious  pictures  represented  past  experiences  of  the 
subject,  much  as  do  crystal  visions,  and  suggest  that  these  past 
experiences  were  functioning  unconsciously. 


174  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

mind.     I  have  sometimes  thought,  in  consequence, 
that  I  had  solved  it  in  my  sleep." 

A  series  of  observations  conducted  with  a  fourth 
subject  (0.  N.)  gave  the  following  results,  briefly 
summarized.  (This  subject,  like  the  others,  is  prac- 
ticed in  introspection  and  can  differentiate  her 
memories  with  precision.)  She  distinguishes  "two 
strata"  in  her  mental  processes  (an  upper  and 
lower).  The  "upper  stratum"  consists  of  the 
thoughts  in  the  focus  of  attention.  The  lower  (also 
called  the  background  of  her  mind)  consists  of  the 
perceptions  and  thoughts  which  are  not  in  the  focus. 
This  stratum,  of  course,  corresponds  with  what  is 
commonly  recognized  as  the  fringe  of  conscious- 
ness, and,  as  is  usual,  when  her  attention  is  directed 
elsewhere  she  is  not  aware  of  it.  She  can,  however, 
bring  this  fringe  within  the  field  of  attention  and 
then  she  becomes  aware  of,  or  rather  remembers, 
its  content  during  the  preceding  moment.  To  be 
able  to  do  this  is  nothing  out  of  the  ordinary,  but 
what  is  unusual  is  this:  by  a  trick  of  abstraction 
which  she  has  long  practiced,  she  can  bring  the 
memory  of  the  fringe  or  stratum  into  the  full  light 
of  awareness  and  then  it  is  discovered  that  it  has 
been  exceedingly  rich  in  thoughts,  far  richer  than 
ordinary  attention  would  show  and  a  fringe  is  sup- 
posed to  be.  It  is  indeed  a  veritable  coconscious- 
nesst  in  which  there  goes  on  a  secondary  stream  of 
thoughts  often  of  an  entirely  different  character 

*  Prince:    Some  of  the  Present  Problems  of  Abnormal  Psychol- 
Og?r    Congress  of  Arts  and  Sciences,  St.  Louis,  1904,  V.  5,  p.  770. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  175 

and  with  different  affects  from  those  of  the  upper 
stratum.  It  is  common  for  thoughts  which  she  has 
resolutely  put  out  of  her  mind  as  intolerable  or  un- 
acceptable, or  problems  which  have  not  been  solved, 
to  continue  functioning  in  the  lower  stratum  with- 
out entering  awareness*  She  can,  however,  at  any 
time  become  aware  of  them  by  the  trick  of  abstrac- 
tion referred  to,  and  sometimes  they  emerge  appar- 
ently spontaneously  and  suddenly!  replace  the 
"upper  stratum."  In  hypnosis  also  the  content  of 
the  lower  stratum  can  be  distinctly  recalled. 

Now  the  point  I  have  been  coming  to  is,  the  sub- 
ject has  acquired  the  habit  of  postponing  the  deci- 
sion of  many  everyday  problems  and  giving  them, 
as  a  matter  of  convenience,  to  this  second  stratum 
or  fringe  to  solve.  She  puts  one  aside,  that  is  out  of 
(or  into]  her  mind  and  it  goes  into  this  stratum. 
Then,  later,  when  the  time  for  action  comes,  she 

*  Practically  similar  conditions  I  have  found  in  B.  C.  A.,  and 
Miss  B.,  though  described  by  the  subjects  in  different  phraseology. 

t  For  instance,  to  take  a  sensational  example,  on  one  occasion  in 
the  midst  of  hilarity  while  singing,  laughing,  etc.,  she  suddenly  be- 
came depressed  and  burst  into  tears.  What  happened  was  this:  It 
was  a  sorrowful  anniversary,  and  in  the  "lower  stratum"  sad  mem- 
ories had  been  recurring  during  the  period  of  hilarity.  These  mem- 
ories had  come  into  consciousness  early  in  the  morning,  but  she  had 
resolutely  put  them  out  of  her  mind.  They  had,  however,  kept  re- 
curring in  the  lower  stratum,  and  suddenly  emerged  into  the  upper 
stratum  of  consciousness  with  the  startling  effect  described.  More 
commonly,  however,  the  emergence  of  the  lower  stratum  is  simply  a 
shifting  play  of  thought.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  censored 
thoughts  and  temptations  are  apt  to  go  into  the  lower  stratum  and 
here  with  their  affects  continue  at  play.  These  sometimes  reappear 
as  dreams. 


176  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

voluntarily  goes  into  abstraction,  becomes  aware  of 
the  subconscious  thoughts  of  the  second  stratum 
and,  lo  and  behold!  the  problem  is  found  to  be 
solved.  If  a  plan  of  action,  all  the  details  are  found 
arranged  as  if  planned  "consciously."  If  asked  a 
moment  before  what  plans  had  been  decided  upon 
and  decision  reached  she  would  have  been  obliged 
in  her  conscious  ignorance  to  reply,  "I  don't 
know. ' '  * 

An  analysis  of  these  different  observations  shows, 

*  The  validity  of  the  evidence  of  memory  as  applied  to  sub- 
conscious processes  needs  to  be  carefully  weighed.  It  is  a  question 
of  method,  and  if  the  method  is  fallacious  all  conclusions  fall  to  the 
ground.  In  the  sciences  of  normal  psychology  and  psychiatry  and 
psychopathology,  the  data  given  by  memory  are  and  necessarily  must 
be  relied  upon  to  furnish  a  knowledge  of  the  content  of  mental  proc- 
esses and  the  mental  symptoms,  and  all  methods  of  psychological 
analysis  are  based  on  the  data  of  memory.  Without  such  data  there 
could  be  no  such  sciences.  As  a  matter  of  experience  the  method  is 
found  to  be  reliable  when  properly  checked  by  multiple  observations. 
If  by  special  methods  of  technique  mental  processes,  which  do  not 
enter  the  awareness  of  the  moment,  are  later  brought  into  conscious- 
ness as  data  of  memory,  are  these  data  per  contra  to  be  rejected  as 
hallucinatory?  This  is  what  their  rejection  would  mean.  Now,  as 
a  fact,  there  are  phenomena,  like  coconscious  personalities,  which 
compel  the  postulation  of  coconscious  processes.  If  this  is  the  case, 
if  there  are  coconscious  processes  which  do  not  enter  awareness,  it 
would  be  tne  strangest  thing  if  there  were  not  conditions  of  the 
personality  in  which  a  memory  of  these  processes  could  be  ob- 
tained. This  fact  would  have  to  be  explained.  The  bringing  of  co- 
conscious processes  into  consciousness  as  data  of  memory  does  not 
seem  therefore  to  be  anything  a  priori  improbable  and  there  would 
seem  to  be  no  reason  why  the  memory  of  them  should  be  more  un- 
reliable than  that  of  conscious  processes  in  the  forms  of  attention. 
Indeed,  if  the  fringe  of  consciousness  be  regarded  as  coconscious,  it 
is  an  every-day  act  common  to  everybody.  Such  data  necessarily 
should  be  checked  up  by  multiple  observations. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  177 

first,  that  the  post-hypnotic  phenomena — calcula- 
tions (a)  and  actions  (b) — were  performed  by  a 
subconscious  process.  Of  this  there  can  be  no  man- 
ner of  doubt,  even  if  the  subsequent  hypnotic  mem- 
ories of  the  process  be  rejected  as  untrustworthy. 
The  phenomenon — the  answer  to  the  mathematical 
problem  in  the  one  case  and  the  motor  acts  in  the 
other — is  so  logically  related  to  the  suggestion,  and 
can  be  predicted  with  such  certainty,  that  only  a 
causal  relation  can  be  admitted. 

Second,  in  the  calculation  phenomena  the  process 
is  clearly  of  an  intellectual  character  requiring 
reasoning  and  the  cooperation  of  mathematical 
memory.  (Reasoning  is  more  conspicuous  when  the 
problem  is  more  complicated,  as  in  the  calculation 
of  the  number  of  seconds  intervening  between,  say, 
twenty-two  minutes  past  eleven  and  seventeen  min- 
utes past  three  o'clock.)*  The  phenomenon  is  the 
solution  of  a  problem. 

The  final  phenomenon  was  not  immediately  re- 
lated to  the  suggested  idea.  It  was  the  final  result 
of  a  quite  long  series  of  logical  processes  of  a  more 
or  less  complex  character  occurring  over  a  period 
of  time  as  in  conscious  calculation.  Conation  (voli- 
tion?) would  seem  also  to  be  essential  to  carry  the 
suggested  idea  to  fulfilment.  Subconscious  cogni- 
tion would  seem  also  to  be  required.  There  must 
have  been  an  intelligent  appreciation  of  what  the 

*  Tor  examples  of  this  kind,  see  Prince,  Experiments  to  Determine 
Coconscioua  Ideation,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-Maj, 
1908. 


178  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

problem  was  and  as  soon  as  the  solution  was  accom- 
plished the  process  stopped.  Random  figuring  did 
not  continue. 

In  the  post-hypnotic  motor  acts  conation  is  obvi- 
ous. Here  too  there  is  a  series  of  subconscious  proc- 
esses covering  a  period  of  time  and  carrying  out  a 
purpose.  The  suggested  causal  idea  did  not  include 
the  acts  necessary  for  the  fulfillment  of  the  idea. 
Each  step  was  adapted  to  an  end,  ceased  as  soon  as 
it  accomplished  that  end,  and  was  followed  by  an- 
other in  logical  sequence,  the  whole  taking  place  as 
if  performed  by  an  intelligence.  Reasoning  may  or 
may  not  be  involved  according  to  the  complexity  of 
the  actions. 

Third;  the  coconscious  figures  in  the  calculation 
experiments  do  not  constitute  the  whole  of  the  proc- 
ess. They  would  seem  to  be  the  product  of  some 
deeper  underlying  process.  The  figures  "kept  com- 
ing and  going"  and  seemed  to  "add  themselves." 
There  was  no  conscious  process  that  related  the 
figures  to  one  another  and  determined  whether  the 
problem  was  one  of  addition  or  multiplication — as 
is  the  case  when  we  do  a  calculation  consciously; 
that  is  to  say,  of  course,  if  the  hypnotic  personality 
remembered  the  whole  of  the  conscious  calculation. 
It  was  more  as  if  there  was  an  underlying  uncon- 
scious process  which  did  the  calculation,  certain 
final  results  of  which  appeared  as  dissociated  states 
of  consciousness,  i.  e.,  figures  which  did  not  enter 
the  personal  consciousness.  The  process  reminds  us 
of  the  printing  of  visible  letters  by  the  concealed 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  179 

works  of  a  typewriter;  or  of  visible  letters  of  an 
electrically  illuminated  sign  appearing  and  disap- 
pearing according  as  the  concealed  mechanism  is 
worked.  This  interpretation  is  in  entire  accord 
with  the  spontaneous  occurrence  of  the  coconscious 
images  during  the  everyday  life  of  these  subjects. 
These  images  were  pictorial  representations  of  an- 
tecedent thoughts  and  seemed  to  be  the  products 
or  elements  of  these  thoughts  apparently  function- 
ing as  underlying  unconscious  processes.  Likewise, 
in  post-hypnotic  suggested  actions,  I  have  not  been 
able  to  obtain  memories  of  coconscious  thoughts 
directing  the  actions,  but  only  the  images  described. 
These  behave  as  if  they  were  the  product  of  another 
underlying  process  determining  the  action.  Infer- 
ences of  this  sort  are  as  compulsory  as  the  inference 
that  the  illumination  of  a  sensitive  plate  observed  in 
the  study  of  radio-activity  must  be  due  to  the  bom- 
bardment of  the  plate  by  invisible  particles  emitted 
by  the  radio-active  substance.  These  particles  and 
the  process  which  ejects  them  can  only  be  inferred 
from  the  effects  which  they  produce.  So,  in  the 
above  observations,  it  would  seem  as  if  the  cocon- 
scious figures,  and  other  images  involved,  must  be 
ejected  as  conscious  phenomena  by  an  underlying 
process.  There  is  no  explicit  evidence  that  this  is 
conscious. 

I  said  advisedly,  a  moment  ago,  "if  the  hypnotic 
personality  remembered  the  whole  of  the  conscious 
calculation, ' '  for,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  we  find,  when 
we  examine  several  different  hypnotic  states  in  the 


180  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

same  subject,  that  their  memories  for  coconscious 
ideas  are  not  coextensive,  one  (or  more)  being  fuller 
than  another.  Indeed  in  certain  states  there  may 
not  be  any  such  memories  at  all.  It  is  necessary, 
therefore,  to  obtain  by  hypnosis  a  degree  of  disso- 
ciation which  will  allow  the  complete  memories  of 
this  kind  to  be  evoked.  In  the  subjects  I  made  use 
of  this  procedure  was  followed.  Theoretically  it 
might  be  held  that,  no  matter  how  complete  the  mem- 
ories evoked  in  the  various  states,  some  other  state 
might  possibly  be  obtained  in  which  still  more  com- 
plete memory  would  be  manifested.  Theoretically 
this  is  true  and  all  conclusions  are  subject  to  this 
criticism.  Practically,  however,  I  found,  when  mak- 
ing these  investigations,  that  I  seemed  to  have  come 
to  the  limit  of  such  possibilities,  for,  obtain  as  I 
would  new  dissociated  arrangements  of  personality, 
after  a  certain  point  no  additional  memories  could 
be  evoked.  There  is  still  another  possibility  that 
there  may  be  coconscious  processes  for  which  no 
memories  can  be  evoked  by  any  method  or  in  any 
state. 

II.  Artificially  induced  visual  hallucinations  with 
which  we  have  already  become  familiar  can,  as  we 
have  seen,  only  be  interpreted  as  the  product  of 
subconscious  processes.  If  only  because  of  the  im- 
portant part  that  hallucinations  play  in  insanity 
and  other  pathological  states  and  of  the  frequency 
with  which  they  occur  in  normal  people  (mystics 
and  others),  the  characteristics  of  the  subconscious 
process  are  well  worth  closer  study.  What  is  found 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  181 

to  be  true  of  the  experimental  type  is  probably  true 
of  the  spontaneous  variety  whether  occurring  in 
pathological  or  normal  conditions.  Indeed,  as  we 
shall  see,  spontaneous  hallucinations  have  the  same 
characteristics.  We  have  considered  them  thus  far 
only  from  two  points  of  view,  viz.  (1)  as  evidence 
of  conservation  of  forgotten  experiences,  and  (2)  as 
evidence  for  specific  residua  of  such  experiences 
functioning  as  subconscious  processes.  Now,  arti- 
ficial visual  hallucinations,  like  the  spontaneous 
ones,  may  be  limited — relatively  speaking — to  what 
is  apparently  little  more  than  an  exact  reproduc- 
tion of  an  antecedent  visual  perception,  e.  g.,  a 
person  or  object.  But,  generally  speaking,  it  is 
more  than  this  and  when  analyzed  will  be  found 
almost  always  to  be  the  expression  of  a  complicated 
process.  For  instance,  take  the  relatively  simple 
crystal  vision,  of  the  subject  smoking  a  cigarette 
in  a  particular  situation  during  hypnosis,  which  I 
have  previously  cited.  (Lecture  III.)  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  the  subject  had  no  primary  visual  percep- 
tions at  the  time  of  the  original  episode  at  all.  She 
was  in  hypnosis,  her  eyes  were  closed,  and  she  did 
not  and  could  not  see  herself  (particularly  her  own 
face)  or  the  cigarette  or  her  surroundings.  And 
yet  the  vision  pictured  everything  exactly  as  it  had 
occurred  in  my  presence,  even  to  the  expression  of 
her  features.  Looking  into  the  crystal  the  subject 
saw  herself  sitting  in  a  particular  place,  enacting  a 
series  of  movements,  talking  and  smoking  a  cigar- 
ette with  a  peculiar  smile  and  expression  of  enjoy- 


182  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ment  on  her  face.*  For  this  experience  there  was 
complete  amnesia  after  waking  from  hypnosis  and 
at  the  time  of  the  vision. 

Now  consider  further  the  facts  and  their  impli- 
cations. In  the  mechanism  of  the  process  eventuat- 
ing in  the  visual  phenomenon  we  obviously  have  two 
known  factors:  the  antecedent  causal  factor — the 
hypnotic  episode — and,  after  a  time  interval,  the 
end  result — the  vision.  As  there  was  no  conscious 
memory  of  the  hypnotic  episode  the  neurograms  of 
the  latter  must  have  functioned  subconsciously  to 
have  produced  the  vision.  But  what  particular 
neurograms?  As  the  subject's  eyes  had  been  closed 
in  hypnosis,  and,  in  any  event,  as  she  could  not  have 
seen  her  own  face,  there  were  at  the  time  no  visual 
perceptions  of  herself  smoking  a  cigarette,  and 
therefore  the  vision  could  not  have  been  simply  a  re- 
production of  a  visual  experience.  There  were,  how- 
ever, tactual,  gustatory,  and  other  perceptions  and 
ideas  of  self  and  environment,  and  these  perceptions 
and  ideas  of  course  possessed  secondary  visual  im- 
ages.^ The  simplest  mechanism  would  be  that  the 
neurograms  of  this  complex  of  perception  and  ideas 
of  self,  etc.,  functioned  subconsciously  and  their 
secondary  visual  images  emerged  into  consciousness 
to  be  the  vision.  I  give  this  as  the  simplest  mechan- 
ism by  which  we  can  conceive  of  a  visual  representa- 

*  The  Dissociation,  pp.  55,  56. 

f  It  is  only  necessary  to  close  one 's  eyes,  then  grimace  and  move 
one's  limbs  to  become  conscious  of  these  secondary  images  which 
picture  each  movement  of  the  features,  etc. 


SUBCONSCIOUS  PROCESSES  183 

tion  of  an  antecedent  experience  emerging  out  of  a 
subconscious  process.*  There  is  a  considerable  body 
of  data  supporting  this  interpretation. 

But  the  original  experiences  of  the  episode  in- 
cluded more  than  the  mere  perceptions  and  move- 
ments of  the  subject.  They  included  trains  of 
thought  and  enjoyment  of  the  cigarette  smoking 
experience.  All  formed  a  complex  of  which  the 
tactual  and  other  perceptions  of  self  were  subordi- 
nate elements.  At  one  moment,  of  course,  one  ele- 
ment, and,  at  another  moment  another  element,  had 
been  in  the  focus  of  awareness,  the  others  becoming 
shifted  into  the  fringe  where  at  all  times  were  sec- 
ondary visual  images  of  herself.  Did  the  subcon- 
scious process  underlying  the  vision  include  the 
whole  of  this  complex?  As  to  this,  one  peculiarity 
of  the  vision  has  much  significance.  In  behavior  it 
acted  after  the  manner  of  a  cinematographic  or 
"moving  picture,"  and  delineated  each  successive 
movement  of  the  episode,  as  if  a  rapid  series  of 
photographs  had  been  taken  for  reproduction.  In 

*  The  mechanism  is  probably  not  quite  so  simple  as  this,  proba- 
bly past  visual  perceptions  of  self  and  the  environment  took  part,  so 
that  the  vision  was  a  fusion  or  composite  of  these  older  primary 
images  and  the  secondary  images.  The  principle  of  mechanism,  how- 
ever, would  not  be  affected  by  this  added  element.  Sidis  (The  Doc- 
trine of  Primary  and  Secondary  Sensory  Elements,  Psych.  Bev., 
January-March,  1908)  has  maintained  that  all  hallucinations  are  the 
emerging  of  the  secondary  images  of  previous  perceptions.  If,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  vision  be  interpreted  as  something  fabricated  by 
the  subconscious  process — as  must  be  the  case  with  some  hallucina- 
tions— then  this  process  must  have  been  much  more  complicated  than 
memory.  Something  akin  at  least  to  constructive  imagination  and 
intelligence  that  translated  the  experiences  into  visual  terms. 


184  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

this  manner  even  the  emotional  and  changing  play 
of  the  features  of  the  vision-self,  expressive  of  the 
previous  thoughts  and  enjoyment,  were  depicted. 
Such  a  cinematographic  series  of  visual  images 
would  seem  to  require  a  concurrent  subconscious 
process  to  produce  the  successive  changes  in  the 
hallucinatory  images.  As  these  changes  apparently 
correspond  from  moment  to  moment  with  the 
changes  that  had  occurred  in  the  content  of  con- 
sciousness during  the  causal  episode,  it  would  also 
seem  that  the  subconscious  process  was  a  reproduc- 
tion in  subconscious  terms  of  substantially  the  whole 
original  mental  episode.  This  conclusion  is  forti- 
fied by  the  following  additional  facts:  In  many 
experiments  of  this  kind,  if  the  subject's  face  be 
watched  during  the  visualization,  it  will  be  observed 
that  it  shows  the  same  play  of  features  as  is  dis- 
played by  the  vision  face*  and  the  visualizer  at  the 
same  moment  experiences  the  same  emotion  as  is 
expressed  by  the  features  of  the  vision  facefi  and 
sometimes  knows  "what  her  [my]  vision  self  is 
thinking  about."  In  other  words,  in  particular  in- 
stances, sometimes  the  feelings  alone  and  sometimes 
both  the  thoughts  and  feelings  expressed  in  panto- 
mime in  the  hallucination  arise  at  the  same  moment 
in  consciousness.  This  would  seem  to  indicate  that 
the  same  processes  which  determined  the  mimetic 
play  of  features  in  the  hallucination  were  deter- 
mining at  the  same  moment  the  same  play  in  the 

*  That  is  to  say,  as  described  by  the  visualizer. 
t  Cf.  The  Dissociation,  pp.  211-220. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  185 

features  of  the  visualizer,  and  that  these  processes 
were  a  subconscious  memory  of  substantially  all  the 
original  perceptions  and  thoughts.  That  is  to  say, 
this  memory  in  such  cases  remains  sometimes  en- 
tirely subconscious  and  sometimes  emerges  into  con- 
sciousness. The  hallucination  is  simply  a  projected 
visualization  induced  by  what  is  taking  place  sub- 
consciously .in  the  subject's  mind  at  the  moment. 
Whether  this  shall  remain  entirely  subconscious  or 
shall  emerge  partially  or  wholly  into  consciousness 
depends  upon  psychological  conditions  peculiar  to 
the  subject. 

That  even  when  the  thoughts  of  the  causal  experi- 
ence emerge  in  consciousness  along  with  the  vision 
a  portion  of  the  functioning  complex — e.  g.,  the  per- 
ceptual elements — may  still  remain  submerged  is 
shown  by  the  following  example:  The  vision,  one 
of  several  of  the  same  kind,  portrayed  in  pantomime 
an  elaborate  nocturnal  somnambulistic  act.  It  rep- 
resented the  subject  walking  in  her  sleep  with  eyes 
closed;  then  sitting  before  the  fire  in  profound  and 
depressing  thought;  then  joyously  dancing;  then 
writing  letters,  etc.,  and  finally  ascending  the  stairs, 
unconsciously  dropping  one  of  the  letters  from  her 
hand  on  the  way*  and  returning  to  bed.  During 
the  visualization  the  thoughts  and  feelings  of  the 
vision-self,  even  the  contents  of  the  letters,  arose  in 

*  At  this  point  the  subject  watching  the  vision  remarked,  "I  drop 
one  of  the  letters,  but  I  do  not  know  I  have  done  so."  In  other 
words,  conscious  of  the  content  of  the  somnambulist 's  consciousness, 
the  visualizer  knows  that  there  is  no  awareness  of  this  act.  Tho 
letter  was  afterward  found  by  the  servant  on  the  stairs. 


186  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

the  mind  of  the  visualizer  whose  features  and  tone 
of  voice  betrayed  the  feelings. 

The  point  to  be  noted  in  this  observation  is  that 
the  vision  reproduced  as  a  detail  of  the  somnambu- 
listic act  the  accidental  dropping  of  a  letter  from 
the  hand  of  the  somnambulist  who  was  unaware  of 
the  fact;  it  reproduced  what  was  not  in  conscious 
experience.  How  came  it  that  an  act  for  which 
there  had  been  no  awareness  could  appear  in  the 
vision?  The  only  explanation  is  that  originally  in 
the  somnambulistic  state,  a«  is  so  commonly  ob- 
served in  hypnotic  somnambulism,  there  was  a  sub- 
conscious tactual  perception  (with  secondary  visual 
images?)  of  dropping  the  letter  and  now  the  mem- 
ory of  this  antecedent  perception,  functioning  sub- 
consciously, induced  this  detail  of  the  vision.  The 
general  conclusion  then  would  seem  to  be  justified 
that  this  hallucination  was  determined  by  a  fairly 
large  complex  of  antecedent  somnambulistic  experi- 
ences of  which  a  part  emerged  as  the  hallucination 
and  the  thoughts  of  the  somnambulist  into  con- 
sciousness, and  a  part — the  tactual  and  other  per- 
ceptions— remained  submerged  as  the  subconscious* 
process.  How  much  more  may  have  been  contained 
in  this  process  the  facts  do  not  enable  us  to  deter- 
mine. 

An  examination,  then,  of  even  the  more  simple 
artificial  hallucinations  discloses  that  underlying 
them  there  is  a  residual  process  which  is  quite  an 
extensive  subconscious  memory  of  antecedent 
thoughts,  perceptions  and  affective  experiences. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES  187 

Whether  this  memory  is  only  an  unconscious  func- 
'tioning  neurogram  or  whether  it  is  also  a  cocon- 
scious  memory,  or  partly  both,  cannot  be  determined 
from  the  data.*  The  bearing  of  these  results  upon 
the  interpretation  of  insane  hallucinations  is  obvi- 
ous. 

Our  examination  of  subconscious  processes  in  the 
two  classes  of  phenomena  thus  far  studied — post 
hypnotic  phenomena  and  artificial  hallucinations- 
permits  the  following  general  conclusions:  First, 
there  is  positive  evidence  to  show  that  in  some  in- 
stances, in  their  intrinsic  nature,  they  are  cocon- 
scious.  In  other  instances,  in  the  absence  of  such  evi- 
dence, it  is  permissible  to  regard  them  as  uncon- 
scious. Second,  that  in  the  quality  of  the  functions 
performed  they  frequently  exhibit  that  which  is 
characteristic  of  Intelligence.  This  characteristic 
will  be  seen  to  be  still  more  pronounced  in  the  phe- 
nomena which  we  shall  next  study. 

*  Coconscious  ideas  may  provoke  hallucinations.  (For  examples 
consult  "Hallucinations"  in  Index  to  The  Dissociation.) 


LECTURE   VII 

SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE 

(Continued) 

III.  Subconscious  intelligence  underlying  spon- 
taneous hallucinations. — Spontaneous  hallucinations 
often  offer  opportunities  to  study  subconscious  proc- 
esses exhibiting  constructive  intelligence.  Although 
properly  belonging  to  clinical  phenomena,  they  often 
can  be  so  clearly  related  to  an  antecedent  experience 
as  to  allow  us  to  determine  the  causal  factor  with  the 
same  exactness  as  in  the  experimental  type,  and, 
therefore,  to  infer  the  connecting  subconscious  link 
with  equal  probability.  Some  of  these  spontaneous 
visions  indicate  that  the  subconscious  link  must 
be  of  considerable  complexity  and  equivalent  to 
logical  processes  of  reasoning,  volition,  and  pur- 
posive intelligence.  Sometimes  the  same  subcon- 
scious processes  which  fabricate  the  vision  deter- 
mine also  other  processes  of  conscious  thought  and 
movements. 

In  illustration  I  may  cite  an  incident  in  the  life 
of  Miss  B.,  which  I  have  previously  described : 

"Miss  B.,  as  a  child,  frequently  had  visions  of  the  Madonna 
and  Christ,  and  used  to  believe  that  she  had  actually  seen  them. 
It  was  her  custom  when  in  trouble,  if  it  was  only  a  matter  of  her 
school  lessons,  or  something  that  she  had  lost,  to  resort  to  prayer. 
Then  she  would  be  apt  to  have  a  vision  of  Christ.  The  vision 

188 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  189 

never  spoke,  but  sometimes  made  signs  to  her,  and  the  expression 
of  His  face  made  her  feel  that  all  was  well.  After  the  vision 
passed  she  felt  that  her  difficulties  were  removed,  and  if  it  was  a 
bothersome  lesson  which  she  had  been  unable  to  understand  it  all 
became  intelligible  at  once.  Or,  if  it  was  something  that  she  had 
lost,  she  at  once  went  to  the  spot  where  it  was."  .  .  .  [For 
example,  while  under  observation.]  "Miss  B.  had  lost  a  bank 
check  and  was  much  troubled  concerning  it.  For  five  days  she 
had  made  an  unsuccessful  hunt  for  it,  systematically  going  through 
everything  in  her  room.  She  remembered  distinctly  placing  the 
check  between  the  leaves  of  a  book,  when  some  one  knocked  at 
her  door,  and  this  was  the  last  she  saw  of  the  check.  She  had  be- 
come very  much  troubled  about  the  matter,  and  in  consequence, 
after  going  to  bed  that  night  she  was  unable  to  sleep,  and  rose  sev- 
eral times  to  make  a  further  hunt.  Finally,  at  3  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing, she  went  to  bed  and  fell  asleep.  At  4  o'clock  she  woke  with 
the  consciousness  of  a  presence  in  the  room.  She  arose,  and  in  a 
moment  saw  a  vision  of  Christ,  who  did  not  speak,  but  smiled. 
She  at  once  felt,  as  she  used  to,  that  everything  was  well,  and  that 
the  vision  foretold  that  she  should  find  the  check.  All  her  anxiety 
left  her  at  once.  The  figure  retreated  toward  the  bureau,  but  the 
thought  flashed  into  her  mind  that  the  lost  check  was  in  the 
drawer  of  her  desk.  A  search,  however,  showed  that  it  was  not 
there.  She  then  walked  automatically  to  the  bureau,  opened  the 
top  drawer,  took  out  some  stuff  upon  which  she  had  been  sewing, 
unfolded  it,  and  there  was  the  check  along  with  one  or  two  other 
papers. 

"Neither  Miss  B.  nor  BII  [hypnosis]  has  any  memory  of  any 
specific  thought  which  directed  her  to  open  the  drawer  and  take 
out  her  sewing,  nor  of  any  conscious  idea  that  the  check  was 
there.  Rather,  she  did  it,  so  far  as  her  consciousness  goes,  auto- 
matically, as  she  used  to  do  automatic  writing."* 

Further  investigation  revealed  the  fact  that  the 
money  had  been  put  away  absent-mindedly  and  "un- 

*  The  Dissociation,  Appendix  L,  p.  548. 


190  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

consciously";  in  hypnosis  the  memory  of  this  act 
was  recovered. 

In  this  observation  we  have  two  so-called  auto- 
matic phenomena  of  different  types — one  a  sensory 
automatism,  the  vision,  the  other  a  motor  automa- 
tism or  actions  leading  to  the  finding  of  the  money. 
The  motor  acts  being  automatic  were  necessarily 
determined  by  subconscious  processes  and  plainly 
required  a  knowledge  of  the  hiding-place.  This 
knowledge  also  plainly  must  have  been  conserved 
in  the  unconscious  and  now,  in  answer  to  her  wish 
to  find  the  lost  money,  acting  as  a  subconscious  proc- 
ess, fulfilled  her  wish  in  a  practical  way. 

The  vision  was  of  Christ  smiling.  Seeing  it  the 
subject  at  once  "felt  that  all  was  well,"  and  her 
anxiety  vanished.  It  was  plainly  therefore  a  fabri- 
cated visual  symbolism  though  one  which  she  had 
frequently  before  experienced.  It  may  be  taken  as 
a  message  sent  by  subconscious  processes  to  her 
anxious  consciousness  and  it  is  not  too  much  to 
say  had  a  purposive  meaning,  viz.,  to  allay  her 
anxiety.  The  question  is,  What  was  the  causal  fac- 
tor which  determined  this  symbolism?  Logically  it 
is  a  compulsory  inference  that  the  same  conserved 
knowledge  and  subconscious  processes,  which  event- 
uated in  the  motor  automatisms,  must  have  been 
the  causal  factor  that  determined  the  visual  sym- 
bolism which  carried  the  reassuring  message  to  con- 
sciousness. This  subconscious  knowledge  first 
allayed  her  anxiety  and  then  proceeded  to  answer 
her  problem  of  the  whereabouts  of  the  lost  money. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  191 

More  specifically,  the  primary  causal  factor  was 
the  preceding  anxious  wish  to  find  the  money;  the 
resulting  phenomena  were  the  sensory  and  motor 
automatisms,  allaying  the  anxiety  and  fulfilling  the 
wish;  between  the  two  as  connecting  links  were  sub- 
conscious processes  of  an  intelligent,  purposive, 
volitional  character  which  first  fabricated  a  visual 
symbolism  as  a  message  to  consciousness  and  then 
made  use  of  the  conserved  knowledge  of  her  previ- 
ous absent-minded  act  to  solve  her  problem.  The 
subconscious  process  as  a  whole  we  thus  see  was  of 
quite  a  complicated  character.  In  this  example  it 
is  impossible  to  determine  from  the  data  at  hand 
whether  the  subconscious  process  was  coconscious 
or  unconscious. 

The  observation  which  I  have  elsewhere  described 
as  * '  an  hallucination  from  the  subconscious "  *  is 
an  excellent  example  of  an  intelligent  subconscious 
process  indicative  of  judgment  and  purpose.  The 
hallucination  occurred  in  my  presence  as  a  result 
of  an  antecedent  experience  for  which  I  was  a 
moment  before  responsible.  It  was  therefore  of 
the  nature  of  an  experiment  and  the  causal  factor 
was  known.  The  antecedent  experience  consisted 
of  certain  remarks  and  behavior  of  the  subject  while 
under  the  influence  of  an  illusion  during  a  dissoci- 
ated state  for  which  there  was  subsequent  amnesia. 
The  vision  was  of  a  friend  whose  face  was  sad,  as  of 
one  who  had  been  injured,  and  seemed  to  reproach 

*  The  Dissociation,  Chapter  XXXI. 


192  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

her.  At  the  same  moment  she  heard  his  voice  which 
said,  "How  could  you  have  betrayed  me?"  The 
hallucinatory  words  and  the  visual  image  were  in 
no  sense  a  reproduction  of  the  causal,  i.  e.,  antece- 
dent, experience.  They  were  the  expression  of  a 
subconscious  self-reproach  in  consequence  of  that 
experience.  This  reproach  connoted  a  subconscious 
belief  or  logical  judgment,  drawn  from  the  experi- 
ence, that  she  had  broken  a  promise.*  It  was  a  sub- 
conscious reaction  to  a  subconscious  belief.  I  say 
both  the  reproach  and  the  judgment  were  subcon- 
scious because,  in  the  dissociated  state,  owing  to  the 
illusion,  and  in  the  normal  after-state  owing  to  the 
amnesia,  she  was  entirely  ignorant  of  having  done 
anything  that  could  oe  construed  into  breaking  a 
promise.  This  interpretation  of  the  episode  must 
therefore  have  been  entirely  subconscious.  The  self- 
reproach  emerged  into  consciousness  but  translated 
into  visual  and  auditory  hallucinations.  These  were 
plainly  a  condemnatory  message  sent  from  the  sub- 
conscious to  the  personal  -consciousness  and  might 
aptly  be  termed  "the  prickings  of  a  subconscious 
conscience."  The  primary  causal  factor  was  sim- 
ply certain  statements  (conserved  in  the  uncon- 
scious) made  to  me  by  the  subject  and  for  which 
afterwards  there  was  amnesia.  Intervening  be- 
tween this  antecedent  experience  and  the  resulting 
hallucinatory  phenomena  a  subconscious  process 
must  be  postulated  as  a  necessary  connecting  link. 

*  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  judgment  was    erroneous,   though   a 
justifiable  inference. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  193 

This  process  plainly  involved  memory  and  an  in- 
telligent judgment,  an  emotional  reaction,  and  an 
expression  of  this  judgment  and  reaction  trans- 
lated into  hallucinatory  phenomena.  Apparently 
also  a  distinct  purpose  to  upbraid  the  personality 
was  manifested. 

The  accounts  of  sudden  religious  conversion  are 
full  of  instances  of  hallucinations  occurring  at  the 
time  of  the  "crisis"  and  these — visions  and  voices 
• — are  often  logical  symbolisms  of  antecedent 
thoughts  of  the  subject.  By  analogy  with  similar 
experimental  phenomena  we  are  compelled  to  inter- 
pret them  in  the  same  way  and  postulate  these  an- 
tecedent experiences  as  the  causal  factors.  If  this 
postulation  is  sound  then  the  connecting  subcon- 
scious link  is  often  a  quite  complicated  process  of 
an  intelligent  character. 

In  one  instance  in  which  the  occurrence  was  simi- 
lar in  principle  to  sudden  religious  conversion  I 
was  able  to  determine  beyond  question  the  causal 
antecedents  of  the  hallucinatory  phenomenon.  I 
will  not  repeat  the  details  here;*  suffice  it  to  say 
that  the  hallucination,  consisting  of  a  vision  and  an 
auditory  message  from  the  subject's  deceased  hus- 
band (see  p.  40),  answered  the  doubts  and  scruples 
with  which  the  subject  had  been  previously  tor- 
mented. It  was  a  logical  answer  calculated  to  allay 
distressing  memories  against  which  she  had  been 
fighting,  "the  old  ideas  of  dissatisfaction  with  life, 
the  feelings  of  injury,  bitterness,  and  rebellion 

*  Cf .  The  Dissociation,  2d  edition,  p.  567. 


194  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

against  fate  and  the  'kicking  against  the  pricks' 
which  these  memories  evoked."  It  expressed  pre- 
viously entertained  ideas  which  she  had  tried  to 
accept  but  without  success.  The  exposition  of  this 
answer  m  the  hallucinatory  symbolism  required  a 
subconscious  process  involving  considerable  reason- 
ing. The  phenomenon  as  a  whole  was  a  message 
addressed  to  her  own  consciousness  by  subconscious 
processes  to  answer  her  doubts  and  anxious  ques- 
tionings of  herself,  and  to  settle  the  conflict  going 
on  in  her  mind.  The  logical  connection  between  the 
different  elements  of  this  hallucination  and  certain 
antecedent  experiences  which  had  harassed  the  sub- 
ject are  so  close  that  there  is  no  room  left  for  doubt- 
ing that  these  experiences  were  the  causal  factors. 
And  so  I  might  analyze  a  large  number  of  spon- 
taneous hallucinations  wherein  you  would  find  the 
same  evidence  for  subconscious  processes  showing 
intelligent  constructive  imagination,  reasoning,  voli- 
tion, and  purposive  effort,  and  expressing  them- 
selves in  automatisms  which  either  solve  a  disturb- 
ing problem  or  carry  to  fruition  a  subconscious  pur- 
pose. 

I  offer  no  excuse  for  multiplying  tnese  observa- 
tions of  hallucinatory  phenomena,  even  at  the  ex- 
pense of  tedious  repetition,  for  such  studies  give 
an  insight  into  the  mechanism  of  the  hallucinations 
met  with  in  the  insanities  and  other  pathological 
states.  They  offer,  too,  an  insight  into  the  basic 
process  involved  in  dreams  as  these  are  a  type  of 
hallucinatory  phenomena.  It  is  by  a  study  of  hallu- 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  195 

cinations  experimentally  created,  and  others  where 
we  are  in  a  position  to  know  the  causal  factors,  that 
we  can  learn  the  mechanisms  underlying  similar 
phenomena  occurring  in  normal  pathological  condi- 
tions. As  a  rule  in  the  latter  conditions  it  is  dim- 
cult  to  determine  beyond  question  the  true  causal 
factors  and,  therefore,  the  particular  subconscious 
processes  involved.  Such  phenomena  as  I  have 
presented  justify  the  conclusion  of  the  "new  psy- 
chology" that  the  hallucinations  of  the  insane  are 
not  haphazard  affairs  but  the  resultant  of  subcon- 
scious processes  evoked  by  antecedent  experiences. 
In  conclusion,  then,  we  may  say  that  in  artificial 
hallucinations  as  experimentally  conducted,  and  in 
certain  spontaneous  hallucinations,  we  have  two 
known  factors;  the  causal  factor  (the  antecedent  ex- 
perience) and  the  hallucinatory  phenomenon — the 
effect.  Intervening  between  the  two  is  an  inferred 
subconscious  process  of  considerable  complexity 
which  is  required  to  explain  the  causal  connection. 
With  the  exact  mechanism  of  hallucinatory  phenom- 
ena we  are  not  at  present  concerned,  but  only  with 
the  evidence  of  the  actuality  of  a  subconscious  proc- 
ess, of  its  character  as  an  intelligence,  and  with  its 
intrinsic  nature. 

As  to  the  last  problem  it  is  plain  that  further 
investigations  are  required  and  that  the  methods  at 
present  at  our  disposal  for  its  solution  leave  much 
to  be  desired.  All  things  considered  a  conservative 
summing  up  would  be  that  the  subconscious  process 
may  be  both  coconscious  and  unconscious. 


196  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

IV.  Subconscious  intelligence  underlying  dreams. 
As  is  well  known,  Freud  advanced  the  theory,  now 
well  fortified  by  numerous  observations  of  others, 
that  underlying  a  dream  is  a  subconscious  process 
which  fabricates  the  conscious  dream.  According  to 
Freud  and  his  followers  this  subconscious  process 
is  always  an  antecedent  wish  and  the  dream  is  an 
imaginary  fulfillment  of  that  wish.  This  part  of 
the  theory  (as  well  as  the  universality  of  an  under- 
lying process)  is  decidedly  questionable.  My  own  ob- 
servations lead  me  to  believe  that  a  dream  may  be 
also  the  expression  of  antecedent  doubts,  scruples, 
anxieties,  etc.,  or  may  be  an  answer  to  an  unsolved 
problem.  We  need  not  concern  ourselves  with  this 
particular  question  here.  I  refer  to  it  simply  to 
point  out  that  its  correct  solution  depends  upon  the 
correct  determination  of  the  true  causal  factor 
which  is  necessarily  antecedently  unknown  and  must 
be  inferred.  It  is  inferred  or  selected  from  the  asso- 
ciated memories  evoked  by  the  so-called  method  of 
analysis.  Hence  it  must  be  always  an  element  open 
to  greater  or  less  doubt.  Dreams  are  a  type  of 
hallucinatory  phenomena  and  therefore  we  should 
expect  that  their  mechanism  would  correspond  more 
or  less  closely  with  that  of  other  hallucinatory  phe- 
nomena. 

With  the  object  in  view  of  determining  whether 
a  dream  could  be  produced  experimentally  and 
brought  within  the  category  of  phenomena  where 
the  causal  factor  was  antecedently  known,  and  thus 
determine  the  actuality  of  a  subconscious  process  as 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  197 

a  necessary  intervening  link  between  the  two,  I 
made  the  following  experiment.  It  should  be  noted 
that  a  wish  fulfilment  necessarily  means  a  dream 
content  so  far  different  in  form  from  the  content  of 
the  wish  itself  that  the  postulation  of  a  connecting 
link,  conscious  or  subconscious,  is  required.  I  also 
sought,  if  a  subconscious  process  could  be  postu- 
lated, to  discover  how  elaborate  and  what  sort  of 
a  work  of  constructive  imagination  a  subconscious 
wish  could  evolve. 

To  a  suitable  subject  while  in  a  deep  hypnotic 
trance  state  I  gave  a  suggestion  in  the  form  of  a 
wish  to  be  worked  out  to  fulfilment  in  a  dream.  It 
so  happened  that  this  subject  was  going  through 
a  period  of  stress  and  strain  for  which  she  sought 
relief.  I  also  knew  that  she  had  a  very  strong  de- 
sire to  do  a  good  piece  of  original  psychological 
work  and  had  advised  her  to  take  up  the  work  as  a 
solution  of  her  difficulties.  So,  taking  advantage 
of  this  desire,  I  impressed  upon  her,  for  the  purpose 
of  emphasizing  the  impulsive  force  of  the  desire, 
that  she  now  had  the  longed-for  opportunity  as  the 
culmination  of  her  previous  years  of  training  to 
do  the  work.  I  then  gave  her  the  following  sugges- 
tion: "You  want  to  dd  a  good  piece  of  original 
work  and  your  dream  to-night  will  be  the  fulfillment 
of  the  wish."  No  hint  as  to  what  form  the  dream 
fulfilment  should  take  was  given,  nor  had  she  any 
knowledge  before  being  put  into  the  trance  state 
that  I  intended  to  make  an  experiment. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  how  the  dream  has  a 


198  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

logical  form  which  is  unfolded  as  an  argument. 
This  itself  is  an  allegorical  transcript  of  the  rea- 
sons previously  suggested  to  her  for  the  particular 
solution  of  her  problem. 

The  dream  was  a  long  one  and  into  it  were  logi- 
cally introduced  as  a  part  of  the  argument  the  actual 
distressing  circumstances  for  the  relief  of  which  I 
had  advised  taking  up  the  piece  of  psychological 
work  as  an  outlet  to  her  feelings  and  solution  of 
her  problem  of  life.  I  will  give  in  detail  only  so 
much  of  the  dream  as  contains  the  wish  fulfilment 
(which  became  also  a  part  of  the  dream  argument), 
summarizing  the  remainder.  The  dream  begins 
with  an  allegorical  description  of  the  great  task 
involved  in  the  study  of  psychology  by  all  the  work- 
ers of  the  world.  The  science  of  psychology  is  sym- 
bolized by  a  temple.  "I  dreamed  I  was  where  they 
were  building  a  great  temple  or  cathedral;  an  enor- 
mous place  covering  many  acres  of  ground.  Hun- 
dreds of  men  were  building.  Some  were  building 
spires,  some  were  building  foundations,  and  some 
were  tearing  down  what  they  had  built,  some  parts 
had  fallen  down  of  themselves.  I  was  wandering 
around  looking  on."  Then  she  proceeds  to  help 
one  of  the  builders  who  was  building  a  particular 
part  of  the  temple  by  bringing  him  material  in  the 
form  of  stones.  This  she  had  actually  done,  in  real 
life,  contributing  much  psychological  material  out 
of  her  own  experiences.  Many  of  these  experiences 
had  been  very  intimate  ones  from  her  inner  life  and 
had  involved  much  suffering ;  hence  the  stones  which 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  199 

she  contributed  in  her  dream  were  big  and  heavy 
and  were  beyond  her  strength  to  carry,  so  that  she 
could  only  roll  them, — and  some  were  sharp  and 
made  her  hands  bleed,  so  that  her  contribution  in- 
volved much  suffering.  This  part  of  the  dream 
was  not  only  a  prelude  to  the  suggested  wish  fulfil- 
ment but,  as  interpreted,  contained  a  wish  fulfil- 
ment in  itself. 

Then  there  was  interjected  an  allegorical  but  very 
accurate  description  of  the  distressing  circum- 
stances to  which  I  have  referred  and  for  which,  as 
a  problem  of  life,  the  suggested  work  was  advised 
as  a  solution.  Then  logically  followed  the  wish 
fulfilment  and  solution.  She  heard  the  voice  of  the 
builder  whom  she  had  been  helping  say  to  her, 
"  'Now,  here  are  all  the  materials  and  you  must 
build  a  temple  of  your  own,'  and  I  [she]  said,  'I 
cannot,'  and  he  said,  'you  can,  and  I  will  help  you.' 
So  I  began  to  build  the  stones  I  had  taken  him.  It 
was  hard  work,  but  I  kept  on,  and  a  most  beautiful 
temple  grew  up.  .  .  .  All  the  stones  were  very 
brilliant  in  color,  but  each  one  was  stained  with  a 
drop  of  blood  that  came  from  a  wound  in  my  heart. 
And  the  temple  grew  up;  and  I  Bandied  all  the 
stones;  but  somehow  the  temple  grew  up  of  itself 
and  lots  of  people  were  coming  from  all  directions 
to  look  at  it,  and  someone,  who  seemed  to  be  William 
James,  said,  'It  is  the  most  valuable  part  of  the 
temple,'  and  I  felt  very  proud.  .  .  .'  After  an- 
other interjection  of  the  distressing  problem  of  her 
life  just  alluded  to,  the  dream  ends  with  the  figure 


200  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

of  * '  a  beautiful  shining  angel  with  golden  spreading 
wings  and  the  word  'Hope'  written  on  his  fore- 
head." This  figure  "spread  his  lovely  wings  and 
rose  right  up  through  the  temple  and  became  the 
top  of  the  spire,  a  gorgeous  shining  figure  of 
Hope."* 

After  this  dream  was  obtained  the  subject,  who 
had  no  knowledge  that  any  suggestion  had  been 
given  to  induce  the  dream,  was  told  to  analyze  the 
dream  herself  by  the  method  of  associative  mem- 
ories. As  is  customary  in  the  use  of  this  method, 
in  which  she  had  had  considerable  experience,  the 
memories  associated  wTith  each  element  of  the  dream 
were  obtained.  These  memories  all  led  back  di- 
rectly to  her  interest  in  psychology  and  desire  to 
contribute  some  original  work,  and  to  her  own  life's 
experiences.  Every  one  of  the  dream-elements 
(temple,  spires,  foundations,  stones,  bleeding  hands, 
drop  of  blood  from  the  wound  in  her  heart,  etc.) 
evoked  associative  memories  which  justified  the 
inference  that  these  elements  were  symbolisms  of 
past  experiences  or  of  constructive  imagination. 

*  William  James  had  once  said  to  her  in  my  presence  that  she 
could  make  a  valuable  contribution  to  psychology.  It  is  interesting 
to  note,  although  it  is  aside  from  the  question  at  issue,  that  this 
subject  had  strenuously  denied  that  there  was  any  "hope,"  insisting 
that  she  was  absolutely  devoid  of  any  such  sentiment.  Through 
hypnotic  memories,  however,  I  was  able  to  demonstrate  that  this  was 
only  consciously  true,  and  that  there  were  very  evident  and  strong 
coconscious  ideas  of  hope  of  which  she  was  not  consciously  aware. 
She  had  refused  to  acknowledge  these  ideas  to  herself  and  by  repres- 
sion had  dissociated  them  from  the  personal  consciousness.  These 
ideas  now  expressed  themselves  symbolically  in  the  dream. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  201 

That  this  dream  was  determined  by,  and  the  ex- 
plicit imaginary  fulfilment  of  the  antecedent  wish 
made  use  of  in  the  experiment  and  motivated  by 
the  suggestion  would  seem  to  be  conclusively  shown. 

If,  then,  in  any  case  a  causal  relation  between  an 
antecedent  wish  and  its  dream  fulfilment  exists,  it 
follows  that  there  must  be  some  link  between  that 
wish  experienced  in  the  past  and  the  present  dream 
fulfilment,  some  mode,  mechanism,  or  process  by 
which  a  past  thought,  without  entering  conscious- 
ness, can  continue  to  its  own  fulfilment  in  a  con- 
scious work  of  the  imagination,  the  dream.  I  say 
without  entering  consciousness  because  the  original 
specific  thought-wish  does  not  appear  in  the  dream 
consciousness,  which  is  only  the  fulfilment.  The 
phenomenon  as  a  whole  is  also  inexplicable  unless 
there  was  some  motivating  factor  or  force  which 
determined  the  form  of  the  dream  just  as  in  con- 
scious fabrication  and  argument  "we"  consciously 
motivate  and  arrange  the  form  of  the  product.  The 
only  logical  and  intelligible  inference  is  that  the 
original  tvish,  becoming  reawakened  (by  the  preced- 
ing suggestion)  during  sleep,  continued  to  function 
outside  of  the  dream  consciousness,  as  a  motivating 
and  directing  subconscious  process. 

But  what  was  the  content  of  this  process,  and  to 
what  extent  can  its  elements  be  correlated  with 
those  of  the  dream?  The  experimental  data  of  this 
dream  do  not  afford  an  answer  to  this  question. 
(Those  of  the  observation  I  shall  next  give  will  per- 
mit a  deeper  insight  into  the  character  and  content 


202  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

of  their  process.)  It  is  a  reasonable  inference, 
however,  inasmuch  as  the  different  elements  of  the 
dream — temple,  stones,  etc.,  the  material  out  of 
which  it  is  constructed — are  found  to  be  logical  sym- 
bolizations  of  their  associative  memories,  that  these 
memories  took  part  in  the  subconscious  process  and 
consequently  may  be  correlated  with  their  dream- 
symbols.  In  other  words  the  content  of  the  subcon- 
scious process  was  more  than  a  wish,  or  wish  neu- 
rogram,  it  included  a  large  complex  of  memories 
of  diverse  experiences  that  can  be  recognized 
through  their  symbolizations  in  the  dream.  This 
complex,  motivated  by  a  particular  wish,  fabricated 
the  dream,  just  as  in  the  hallucinations  I  have  cited 
an  underlying  process  fabricated  the  hallucination 
as  a  symbolic  expression  of  a  subconscious  judg- 
ment, self-reproach,  etc.  To  do  this  a  process  that 
must  be  termed  a  subconscious  intelligence  was  re- 
quired. The  dream  was  an  allegory,  a  product  of 
constructive  imagination  in  the  logical  form  of  an 
argument,  and  if  constructed  by  an  underlying  proc- 
ess the  latter  must  have  had  the  same  character- 
istics.* 

*  We  must  remember  that  a  dreaming  state  is  a  dissociated  state 
(like  a  fugue  or  trance),  and  numerous  observations  have  shown  that 
in  such  conditions  any  of  the  dormant  related  experiences  of  life  may 
modify,  repress,  resist,  alter,  and  determine  the  content  of  the  dis- 
sociated consciousness.  It  is  difficult  to  conceive  of  a  dream  al- 
legory being  constructed  by  the  dream  consciousness  itself.  If  that 
were  the  mechanism,  we  should  expect  that  the  associative  ideas  for 
which  symbols  are  chosen  would  appear  during  the  dream  construc- 
tion as  is  the  case  in  waking  imagination.  The  method  of  the  mental 
processes  is  very  different  in  the  latter.  We  there  select  from  a 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  203 

This  experimental  dream  confirms  therefore  the 
general  principle  formulated  by  Freud  from  the 
analysis  of  dreams  in  which  the  causal  factor  is  an 
inferred  wish.  It  is  likewise  on  the  assumption  of 
my  having  correctly  inferred  this  factor  that  I  have 
insisted  that  a  dream  may  be  a  fabricated  expres- 
sion of  thoughts  other  than  wishes  or  may  be  the 
solution  of  an  unsolved  problem.  In  this  last  case 
the  dream  phenomena  and  mechanism  seem  to  be 
analogous  in  every  way  to  the  subconscious  solu- 
tion of  mathematical  problems  which  I  have  already 
described.  In  such  and  other  cases  the  subcon- 
scious process  would  seem  to  be  a  continuation  and 
elaboration  of  the  antecedent  suggested  problem. 

In  dreams,  then,  or,  as  we  should  strictly  limit 
ourselves  for  the  present  to  saying,  in  certain 
dreams,  there  are,  as  Freud  first  showed,  two  proc- 
esses; one  is  the  conscious  dream,  the  other  is  a 
subconscious  process  which  is  the  actuated  resi- 
duum of  a  previous  experience  and  determines  the 
dream.*  It  would  be  going  beyond  the  scope  of  our 

number  of  associative  ideas  that  crowd  into  consciousness,  choose 
our  symbols,  and  remember  the  rejected  ideas.  This  is  not  the  case 
•with  dream  imagination.  The  imagery  develops  as  if  done  by  some- 
thing else. 

*  It  must  not  be  assumed  that  all  dreams  are  determined  by  a 
subconscious  process  or  that  all  are  symbolic.  On  the  contrary,  from 
evidence  in  hand,  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  some  dreams  have 
substantially  the  same  mechanism  as  waking  imagination  subject  to 
the  limitations  imposed  by  the  existing  dissociation  of  consciousness 
during  sleep.  Just  as,  in  the  waking  state,  thoughts  may  or  may  nq£ 
be  determined  by  subconscious  processes,  so  in  the  sleeping  state. 
We  know  too  little  about  the  mechanisms  of  thought  to  draw  wide 
generalizations  or  to  dogmatize. 


204  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

subject  to  enter  into  a  full  exposition  of  this  inter- 
pretation at  this  time  and  I  must  refer  you  for  a 
discussion  of  the  dream  problem  to  works  devoted 
to  the  subject. 

We  have  not,  of  course,  touched  the  further  prob- 
lem of  the  How:  how  a  subconscious  intelligence  in- 
duces a  conscious  dream  which  is  not  an  emergence 
*of  the  elements  of  that  intelligence  into  self-con- 
sciousness, but  a  symbolization  of  them.  This  is  a 
problem  which  still  awaits  solution.  From  certain 
data  at  hand  it  seems  likely  that  so  far  as  concerns 
the  hallucinatory  perceptual  elements  of  a  dream 
they  can  be  accounted  for  as  the  emergence  of  the 
secondary  images  pertaining  to  the  subconscious 
"  ideas." 

The  following  observation  is  an  example  of  sub- 
conscious versification  and  also  of  constructive 
imagination.  It  also,  I  think,  gives  an  insight  into 
the  character  and  content  of  the  underlying  process 
which  constructs  a  dream.  -  I  give  the  observation 
in  the  subject's  own  words: 

"I  woke  suddenly  some  time  between  three  and  four  in  the 
morning.  I  was  perfectly  wide  awake  and  conscious  of  my  sur- 
roundings but  for  a  short  time — perhaps  two  or  three  minutes — I 
could  not  move,  and  I  saw  this  vision  which  I  recognized  as  such. 

"The  end  of  my  room  seemed  to  have  disappeared,  and  I 
looked  out  into  boundless  space.  It  looked  misty  but  bright,  as 
if  the  sun  was  shining  behind  a  light  fog.  There  were  shifting 
wisps  of  fog  blowing  lightly  about,  and  these  wisps  seemed  to 
gather  into  the  forms  of  a  man  and  a  woman.  The  figures  were 
perfectly  clear  and  lifelike — I  recognized  them  both.  The  man 
was  dressed  in  dark  every-day  clothes,  the  woman  in  rather  flow- 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  205 

ing  black;  her  face  was  partly  hidden  on  his  breast;  one  arm 
was  laid  around  his  neck;  both  his  arms  were  around  her,  and 
he  was  looking  down  at  her,  smiling  very  tenderly.  They  seemed 
to  be  surrounded  by  a  sort  of  rosy  atmosphere;  a  large,  very 
bright  star  was  above  their  heads — not  in  the  heavens,  but  just 
over  them;  tall  rose  bushes  heavy  with  red  roses  in  full  bloom 
grew  up  about  them,  and  the  falling  petals  were  heaped  up  around 
their  feet.  Then  the  man  bent  his  head  and  kissed  her. 

"The  vision  was  extraordinarily  clear  and  I  thought  I  would 
write  it  down  at  once.  I  turned  on  the  light  by  my  bedside,  took 
pencil  and  paper  lying  there  and  wrote,  as  I  supposed,  prac- 
tically what  I  have  written  here.  I  then  got  up,  was  up  some 
minutes,  went  back  to  bed,  and  after  a  while  to  sleep.  The  clock 
struck  four  soon  after  getting  back  into  bed.  I  do  not  think  I 
experienced  any  emotion  at  the  moment  of  seeing  the  vision,  but 
after  writing  it  down  I  did. 

"The  next  morning  I  picked  up  the  paper  to  read  over  what  I 
had  written  and  was  amazed  at  the  language  and  the  rhythm. 
This  is  what  I  had  written : 

"  'Last  night  I  waked  from  sleep  quite  suddenly, 

And  though  my  brain  was  clear  my  limbs  were  tranced. 
Beyond  the  walls  of  my  familiar  room 

I  gazed  outward  into  luminous  space. 
Before  my  staring  eyes  two  forms  took  shape, 

Vague,  shadowy,  slowly  gathering  from  the  mists, 
Until  I  saw  before  me,  you — my  Love ! 

And  folded  to  your  breast  in  close  embrace 
Was  she,  that  other,  whom  I  may  not  name. 

A  rosy  light  bathed  you  in  waves  of  love ; 
Above  your  heads  there  shone  a  glowing  star; 

Red  roses  shed  their  leaves  about  your  feet. 
And  as  I  gazed  with  eyes  that  could  not  weep 

You  bent  your  head  and  laid  your  lips  on  hers. 
And  my  rent  soul '     .     .     .     [Apparently  unfinished.] 


206  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

"The  thoughts  were  the  same  as  my  conscious  thoughts  had 
been — the  vision  was  well  described — but  the  language  was  en- 
tirely different  from  anything  I  had  thought,  and  the  writing  ex- 
pressed the  emotion  which  I  had  not  consciously  experienced  in 
seeing  the  vision,  but  which  (I  have  since  learned)  I  had  felt  dur- 
ing the  dream,  and  which  I  did  consciously  feel  after  writing. 
When  I  wrote  I  meant  simply  to  state  the  facts  of  the  vision."* 

The  subject  was  unable  to  give  any  explanation 
of  the  vision  or  of  the  composition  of  the  verse. 
She  rarely  remembers  her  dreams  and  had  no  mem- 
ory of  any  dream  the  night  of  this  vision.  By  hyp- 
notic procedure,  however,  I  was  able  to  recover 
memories  of  a  dream  which  occurred  just  before 
she  woke  up.  It  appeared  that  in  the  dream  she  was 
wandering  in  a  great  open  space  and  saw  this  "  pic- 
ture in  a  thin  mist.  The  mist  seemed  to  blow  apart" 
and  disclosed  the  " picture"  which  was  identical 
with  the  vision.  At  the  climax  of  the  dream  picture 
the  dreamer  experienced  an  intense  emotion  well 
described  in  the  verse  by  the  unfinished  phrase, 
"My  rent  soul  ..."  The  dreamer  "shrieked,  and 
fell  on  the  ground  on  her  face,  and  grew  cold  from 
head  to  foot  and  waked  up." 

The  vision  after  waking,  then,  was  a  repetition  of 
a  preceding  dream  vision  and  we  may  safely  assume 
that  it  was  fabricated  by  the  same  underlying  proc- 

* ' '  For  two  or  three  days  previously  I  had  been  trying  to  write 
some  verses,  and  had  been  reading  a  good  deal  of  poetry.  I  had 
been  thinking  in  rhythm.  I  had  also  been  under  considerable  nerv- 
ous and  emotional  strain  for  some  little  time  in  reference  to  the  facta 
portrayed  in  the  verse. ' ' 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  207 

ess  which  fabricated  the  dream,  this  process  re- 
peating itself  after  waking. 

So  far  the  phenomenon  was  one  which  is  fairly 
common.  Now  when  we  come  to  examine  the  auto- 
matically written  script  we  find  it  has  a  number  of 
significant  characteristics.  (1)  It  describes  a  con- 
scious episode,  (2)  As  a  literary  effort  for  one  who 
is  not  a  poetical  writer  it  is  fairly  well  written  and 
probably  quite  as  good  verse  as  the  subject  can  con- 
sciously write;  (3)  It  expresses  the  mental  attitude, 
sentiments  and  emotions  experienced  in  the  dream 
but  not  at  the  time  of  the  vision.  These  had  also 
been  antecedent  experiences;  (4)  Both  the  central 
ideas  of  the  verse  and  the  vision  symbolically  repre- 
sented certain  antecedent  presentiments  of  the  fu- 
ture; (5)  The  script  gives  of  the  vision  an  interpre- 
tation which  was  not  consciously  in  mind  at  the  mo- 
ment of  writing. 

Now,  inasmuch  as  these  sentiments  and  interpre- 
tations were  not  in  the  conscious  mind  at  the  mo- 
ment of  writing,  the  script  suggests  that  the  proc- 
ess that  wrote  it  was  not  simply  a  subconscious 
memory  of  the  vision  but  the  same  process  which 
fabricated  the  dream.  Indeed,  the  phenomenon  is 
open  to  the  suspicion  that  this  same  process  ex- 
presses the  same  ideas  in  verbal  symbolism  as  a  sub- 
stitution for  the  hallucinatory  symbolism.  To  de- 
termine this  point,  an  effort  was  made  to  recover  by 
technical  methods  memories  of  this  process ;  that  is 
to  determine  what  wrote  the  verse  and  by  what  sort 
of  a  process.  The  following  was  brought  out: 


208  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

1.  The   script  was   written   automatically,.     The 
subject  thought  she  was  writing  certain  words  and 
expressing  certain  thoughts  and  did  not  perceive 
that  she  was  writing  different  words.    "  Something 
seemed  to  prevent  her  seeing  the  words  she  wrote." 
There  were  two  trains  of  "thought." 

2.  The  ' '  thoughts ' '  of  the  verse  were  in  her  ' '  sub- 
conscious mind."*     These   "thoughts"    (also   de- 
scribed as  "words")  were  not  logically  arranged  or 
as  written  in  the  verse,  but  "sort  of  tumbled  to- 
gether— mixed  up  a  little."     "They  were  not  like 
the   thoughts   one   thinks  in   composing  a  verse." 
There  did  not  seem  to  be  any  attempt  at  selection 
from  the  thoughts  or  words.    No  evidence  could  be 
elicited  to  show  that  the  composing  was  done  here. 

3.  Concurrently  with  these  subconscious,  mixed- 
up  thoughts  coconscious  "images"  of  the  words  of 
the  verse  came  just  at  the  moment  of  writing  iaem 
down.     The   images   were   bright,   printed   words. 
Sometimes  one  or  two  words  would  come  at  a  t  ime 
and  sometimes  a  whole  line. 

In  other  words  all  happened  as  if  there  wa^  a 
deeper  underlying  process  which  did  the  composing 
and  from  this  process  certain  thoughts  without  logi- 
cal order  emerged  to  form  a  subconscious  stream 
and  after  the  composing  was  done  the  words  of  the 
verse  emerged  as  coconscious  images  as  they  were 

*  By  this  is  meant  ' '  thoughts ' '  of  which  she  was  not  aware. 
Numerous  observations  on  this  subject  have  disclosed  such  subcon- 
scious ideas  in  connection  with  other  phenomena.  This  corresponds 
with  the  testimony  of  other  subjects  previously  cited.  (Lecture  VI.) 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  209 

to  be  written.  This  underlying  process,  then,  "  au- 
tomatically" did  the  writing  and  the  composing. 
Hence  it  seemed  to  the  subject  even  when  remem- 
bering in  hypnosis  the  subconscious  thoughts  and 
images  that  both  were  done  unconsciously. 

As  to  whether  this  underlying  process  was  the 
same  as  that  which  fabricated  the  dream  and  the 
hallucination,  the  evidence,  albeit  circumstantial, 
would  seem  to  render  this  almost  certain.  In  the 
first  place  the  verse  was  only  a  poetical  arrange- 
ment of  the  subconscious  thoughts  disclosed;  the 
vision  wras  an  obvious  symbolic  expression  or  visual 
representation  of  the  same  thoughts  (that  is,  of 
course,  of  those  concerned  with  the  subject  matter 
of  the  vision).  The  only  difference  would  seem  to 
be  in  the  form  of  the  expression — verbal  and  visual 
imagery  respectively.*  In  the  second  place  the 
vision  was  an  exact  repetition  of  the  dream  vision. 
It  is  not  at  all  rare  to  find  certain  phenomena  of 
dreams  (visual,  motor,  sensory,  etc.)  repeating 
themselves  after  waking,  f  This  can  only  be  ex- 
plained by  the  subconscious  repetition  of  the  dream 
process.  Consequently  we  are  compelled  to  infer  the 
same  subconscious  process  underlying  the  dream- 
vision.  More  than  this,  it  was  possible  to  trace 

*  As  a  theory  of  the  mechanism  of  the  vision  I  would  suggest 
that  it  was  the  emergence  of  the  secondary  visual  images  belonging 
to  the  subconscious  ideas. 

f  See  page  102.  Also  Prince :  The  Mechanism  and  Interpreta- 
tion of  Dreams.  Jour.  Abnormal  Psychology.  Oct.-Nov.,  1910.  G. 
A.  Waterman:  Dreams  as  a  Cause  of  Symptoms.  Ibid.  Oct.-Nov., 
1910. 


210  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

these  thoughts  back  to  antecedent  experiences  of 
the  dreamer,  so  that  in  the  last  analysis  the  dream- 
vision,  waking- vision,  and  poetical  expression  of  the 
vision  could  be  related  with  almost  certainty  to  the 
same  antecedent  experiences  as  the  causal  factors. 

Certain  conclusions  then  seem  compulsory:  un- 
derlying the  dream,  vision,  and  script  was  a  sub- 
conscious process  in  which  the  fundamental  factors 
were  the  same.  As  this  process  showed  itself  ca- 
pable of  poetical  composition,  constructive  imagina- 
tion, volition,  memory,  and  affectivity  it  was  a  sub- 
conscious intelligence. 

As  to  its  intrinsic  nature — coconscious  or  uncon- 
conscious — according  to  the  evidence  at  least  the 
process  that  wrote  the  script  contained  conscious 
elements — the  coconscious  thoughts  and  images. 

We  may  assume  the  same  for  the  dream  and  the 
vision.  As  to  the  mechanism  of  the  vision  it  is  quite 
conceivable,  not  to  say  probable,  that,  correspond- 
ing to  the  coconscious  images  of  the  printed  words 
during  the  writing,  there  were  similar  images  of  the 
vision  scene  (both  in  the  dream  and  the  waking 
state),  but  these  instead  of  remaining  coconscious 
emerged  into  consciousness  to  be  the  vision.* 
Whether  the  still  deeper  underlying  process  was 
conscious  or  unconscious  could  not  be  determined 
by  any  evidence  accessible  and  must  be  a  matter  of 
hypothesis. 

*  I  base  this  theory  on  other  observations  where  coconscioua 
images  or  "visions"  of  scenes  occurred.  When  these  images 
emerge  into  consciousness  the  subject  experienced  a  vision. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  211 

The  chief  importance  that  attaches  to  this  obser- 
vation, it  seems  to  me,  is  the  insight  it  gives  into  the 
character  of  the  underlying  process  of  a  dream.  If 
the  conclusions  I  have  drawn  are  sound,  then  the 
subconscious  process  which  determines  the  con- 
scious dream  may  be  what  is  actually  an  intelligence 
and  it  matters  not  whether  a  coconscious  or  uncon- 
scious one.  This  seems  to  me  to  be  a  conclusion 
fraught  with  the  highest  significance  for  the  theory 
of  dreams  and  hallucinatory  phenomena  in  general. 
Of  course  we  all  know  well  enough  that  dissociated 
subconscious  processes  may  be  intelligent  and  influ- 
ence the  content  of  the  personal  consciousness,  as 
witness  coconscious  personalities.  If  the  underly- 
ing process  of  a  dream  may  be  something  akin  to 
such  a  personality,  something  capable  of  reasoning, 
imagination  and  volition,  it  renders  intelligible  the 
fundamental  principle  of  the  Freudian  theory  of  a 
double  process — the  "latent"  and  "manifest" 
dream.  One  of  the  difficulties  in  the  general  ac- 
ceptance of  this  theory  has  been,  I  think,  the  diffi- 
culty of  conceiving  a  subconscious  process — the  "la- 
tent dream" — capable  of  the  intelligent  fabrication 
of  a  "manifest"  dream  phantasy  which  is  a  cryptic 
symbolization  of  the  subject's  thoughts.  Such  a 
fabrication  has  all  the  earmarks  of  purpose,  fore- 
thought and  constructive  imagination.  But  if  this 
underlying  process  can  be  identified,  even  though  it 
be  in  a  single  case,  with  such  an  intelligence  as  that 
which  wrote  the  poetical  script  we  have  studied,  it 


212  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

is  plainly  quite  capable  of  fabricating  the  wildest 
dream  phantasy. 

I  have  suggested  that  the  subconscious  intelli- 
gence may  be  comparable  to  the  phenomenon  of  a 
coconscious  personality.  It  is  worth  noting  in  this 
connection  that  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.  the  cocon- 
scious personality,  Sally,  who  claimed  to  be  awake 
while  Miss  B.  was  dreaming,  also  claimed  that  Miss 
B.  sometimes  dreamed  about  what  Sally  was  think- 
ing of  at  the  moment.*  In  other  words,  the  thoughts 
of  a  large  systematized  coconscious  intelligence  de- 
termined the  dream  just  as  these  thoughts  some- 
times emerged  into  Miss  B.'s  mind  when  awake. 
That  a  coconscious  personality  may  persist  awake 
while  the  principal  personality  is  asleep  I  have  been 
able  to  demonstrate  in  another  case  (B.  C.  A.).  It 
was  also  noted  in  Dr.  Barrows'  case  of  Anna  Win- 
sor.  Moreover,  Sally  was  shown  to  be  a  persistent, 
sane  coconsciousness  while  Miss  B.  was  delirious 
and  also  while  she  was  apparently  deeply  etherized 
and  unconscious.!  After  all  it  is  difficult  to  distin- 
guish in  principle  the  condition  of  sleep  with  a  per- 
sisting coconsciousness  from  a  state  of  deep  hyp- 
notic trance  where  the  subject  is  apparently  uncon- 
scious. In  this  condition,  although  the  waking  con- 
sciousness has  disappeared,  there  can  be  shown  to 
be  a  persisting  "secondary"  consciousness  which 
can  be  communicated  with  by  automatic  writing  and 
which  later  can  exhibit  memories  of  occurrences  in 

•The  Dissociation,  p.  332. 

f  The  Dissociation  of  a  Personality,  p.  330. 


SUBCONSCIOUS    INTELLIGENCE  213 

the     environment     during     the     hypnotic     trance. 
(B.  C.  A.) 

What  has  been  said  does  not  touch,  of  course,  the 
other  mechanisms  of  the  Freudian  theory  nor  the 
unessential,  greatly  over-emphasized  theory  that  the 
subconscious  dream  is  always  a  sexual  wish.  On 
the  contrary,  the  principle  throws  a  strong,  a  priori 
doubt  upon  the  correctness  of  this  generalization. 
It  is  plainly,  however,  a  matter  of  fact  which  might 
be  easily  determined  by  observation  were  it  not  for 
the  difficulty  of  correctly  referring  clinical  phenom- 
ena to  the  correct  antecedent  experiences  as  their 
causal  factors.  In  the  last  analysis  it  becomes  al- 
ways a  matter  of  interpretation. 

Applied  psychology. — Much  has  been  discovered  in 
recent  years  regarding  the  part  played  by  subcon- 
scious processes  in  the  production  of  normal  and  ab- 
normal phenomena.  But  we  do  not  as  yet  know  the 
possibilities  and  limitations  of  these  processes.  We 
have  as  yet  but  an  imperfect  knowledge  of  what 
they  can  do,  what  they  can't  do,  and  what  they  do 
do,  and  of  the  mechanisms  by  which  they  are  called 
into  play  and  provoke  phenomena.  Many  patho- 
logical phenomena  have  been  shown  to  be  due  to 
subconscious  processes ;  and  it  is  quite  probable  that 
these  play  an  important  part  in  determining  the 
mental  processes  of  normal  life,  but  this  is  still 
largely  theory.  In  applied  psychology  and  psycho- 
pathology  the  ' '  subconscious ' '  has  been  made  use  of 
to  explain  many  phenomena  with  which  we  have 


THE    UM  CONSCIOUS 

practically  to  deal.  Assumed  as  a  concept  the  phe- 
nomena are  explained  by  it  with  a  greater  or  less  de- 
gree of  probability.  In  those  'hysterical  conditions 
where  the  subconscious  processes  have  been  shown 
to  be  split-off  conscious  processes,  we  can  often  re- 
cover memories  of  the  latter  and  demonstrate  their 
relation  to  the  hysterical  phenomena  by  the  various 
technical  methods  already  mentioned.  But  where 
this  cannot  be  done,  as  is  ordinarily  the  case,  some 
conserved  antecedent  experience  must  be  inferred 
as  the  causal  factor  and  assumed  to  be  the  function- 
ing subconscious  process  which  determines  the  phe- 
nomenon. To  a  large  extent,  then,  in  applied  psy- 
chology and  psychopathology  the  postulation  in  spe- 
cific cases  of  a  subconscious  process  is  theoretical 
and  open  to  more  or  less  doubt.  In  other  words,  al- 
though a  principle  may  be  established,  its  applica- 
tion, as  in  all  applied  sciences,  is  apt  to  meet  with 
difficulties 

Now  the  application  of  the  principle  of  a  subcon- 
scious process  to  the  explanation  of  a  given  phe- 
nomenon is  rendered  peculiarly  difficult  because  for 
practical  purposes  it  is  not  so  much  the  question  of 
a  subacting  process  that  is  at  issue  as  it  is  of  what 
particular  antecedent  experience  is  concerned  in  the 
process.  The  question  is  of  the  causal  factor.  For 
example,  we  may  know  from  general  experience  in  a 
large  number  of  instances  that  a  given  hysterical 
phenomenon — a  tic  or  a  convulsive  attack  or  an  hal- 
lucination or  a  dream — must  be  in  all  probability 
determined  by  a  subconscious  process  derived  from 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  215 

some  conserved  experience,  but  what  specific  expe- 
rience may  be  a  matter  of  considerable  uncertainty. 
Hence  the  different  theories  and  schools  of  interpre- 
tation that  have  arisen.  The  importance  of  clearly 
appreciating  the  nature  of  such  problems  and  prop- 
erly estimating  the  different  theories  at  their  true 
value  is  so  great  that  I  may  be  permitted  a  few 
words  in  further  explanation. 

Let  us  take  dreams  as  a  type.  The  conscious 
dream  may  be  made  up  of  fantastic  imagery  and  ap- 
parently absurd  thoughts  without  apparent  logical 
meaning.  Now  from  general  experience  we  may 
believe  that  the  dream  is  a  cryptic  symbolic  expres- 
sion of  a  logical  subconscious  process — perhaps  a 
wish.  The  question  is,  what  wish?  The  symbolism 
cannot  be  deciphered  on  its  face.  Now,  by  the  an- 
alytic method  associative  memories  pertaining  to 
each  element  of  the  dream  are  recovered  in  abstrac- 
tion. When  a  memory  of  antecedent  thoughts  of 
which  the  dream  element  is  a  logical  symbolism  or 
synonym  and  which  give  an  intelligent  meaning  to 
the  dream  is  recovered,  we  infer  that  these  antece- 
dent thoughts  are  contained  in  the  determining  sub- 
conscious process.  Further,  as  it  is  found  that  cer- 
tain objects  or  actions  (e.  g.,  snakes,  flying,  etc.)  fre- 
quently occur  in  the  dreams  of  different  people  as 
symbolisms  of  the  same  thoughts,  it  is  inferred  that 
whenever  these  objects  or  actions  appear  in  the 
dream  they  are  always  symbolisms  of  the  same  un- 
derlying thoughts. 

Obviously  the  mere  fact  of  an  antecedent  experi- 


216  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ence  arising  as  an  associative  memory  is  not  of  it- 
self evidence  of  its  being  the  causal  factor.  Hun- 
dreds of  such  memories  might  be  obtained.  To 
have  evidential  value  the  memory  must  give  logical 
meaning  to  the  dream  or  dream  element  under  in- 
vestigation. Now,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  more  than 
one  memory  can  often  be  obtained  which  answers 
these  conditions.  Consequently  it  becomes  a  mat- 
ter of  selection  from  memories,  or  interpretation, 
as  to  which  is  the  correct  solution  of  a  given  dream 
problem — and  mutatis  mutandis  of  a  pathological 
phenomenon.  Naturally  the  selection  is  largely  de- 
termined by  personal  views  and  a  priori  concepts. 
It  also  follows  that  if  one  accepts  the  universality 
of  a  given  symbolism  and  is  committed  to  a  given 
theory  one  can,  by  going  far  enough,  find  associa- 
tions in  vast  numbers  of  dreams  that  will  support 
that  theory.  The  correct  solution  of  a  dream  prob- 
lem, that  is,  the  correct  determination  of  the  speci- 
fic underlying  process,  depends  upon  the  correct  de- 
termination of  the  causal  factor  and  this  must  be 
inferred.  The  inferential  nature  of  the  latter  fac- 
tor therefore  introduces  a  possible  source  of  error. 
There  must  frequently  be  considerable  latitude  in 
the  interpretation.  This  is  not  to  gainsay  that  in  a 
large  number  of  instances  the  logical  relation  be- 
tween antecedent  experiences  (recovered  by  associ- 
ative memories)  and  the  dream  is  so  close  and  ob- 
trusive that  doubt  as  to  the  true  subconscious  proc- 
ess can  scarcely  be  entertained. 
An  example  of  a  condensed  analysis  of  a  dream 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  217 

will  illustrate  the  practical  difficulty  often  presented 
in  determining  by  clinical  methods  the  correct 
causal  factor  and  subconscious  process  of  a  dream. 
I  select  a  simple  one  which  consists  of  two  scenes :  * 

"C.  was  somewhere  and  saw  an  old  woman  who  appeared  to  be 
a  Jewess.  She  was  holding  a  bottle  and  a  glass,  and  seemed  to  be 
drinking  whisky.  Then  this  woman  changed  into  her  own  mother, 
who  had  the  bottle  and  glass,  and  appeared  likewise  to  be  drink- 
ing whisky. 

"Then  the  door  opened  and  her  father  appeared.  He  had  on 
her  husband's  dressing  gown,  and  he  was  holding  two  sticks  of 
wood  in  his  hand." 

Before  interpreting  this  dream  I  will  state  that 
the  subject  had  been  tormented  (as  was  brought  out 
by  the  associative  memories)  by  the  question 
whether  poor  people  should  be  condemned  if  they 
yielded  to  temptation,  particularly  that  of  drinking. 
This  problem  she  could  not  answer  satisfactorily  to 
herself.  It  is  the  inferred  causal  factor  in  the 
dream  process.  The  dream  gave  an  answer  to  this 
problem. 

Let  me  also  point  out  that  the  material,  that  is, 
the  elements  out  of  which  this  dream  was  con- 
structed (indicated  by  the  words  italicized),  was 
found  in  the  thoughts  of  the  dreamer  on  the  pre- 
ceding day  and  particularly  just  before  going  to 
sleep.  The  first  scene  of  the  dream  ends  with  the 
mother  drinking  whisky:  the  second  scene  repre- 
sents the  father  appearing  with  two  sticks  of  wood. 

*  Mechanism  and  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  Journal  Abnormal 
Psychology,  Oct.-Nov.,  1910. 


218  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

For  the  sake  of  simplicity  of  illustration  I  will  con- 
fine myself  to  the  interpretation  of  this  first  scene 
as  it  will  answer  our  present  purposes. 

"As  to  the  first  scene"  (by  technical  methods  of  analysis)  "a 
rich  collection  of  memories  was  obtained.  It  appeared  that  on  the 
previous  morning  the  subject  had  walked  with  a  poor  Jewess 
through  the  slums,  and  had  passed  by  some  men  who  had  been 
drinking.  This  led  her  to  think  at  the  time  of  the  lives  of  these 
poor  people;  of  the  temptations  to  which  they  were  exposed;  of 
how  little  we  know  of  this  side  of  life  and  of  its  temptations. 
She  wondered  what  the  effect  of  such  surroundings,  particularly 
of  seeing  people  drinking,  would  have  upon  the  child  of  the 
Jewess.  She  wondered  if  such  people  ought  to  be  condemned  if 
they  yielded  to  drink  and  other  temptations.  She  thought  that 
she  herself  would  not  blame  such  people  if  they  yielded,  and  that 
we  ought  not  to  condemn  them.  Then  in  the  psychoanalysis  there 
came  memories  of  her  mother,  whose  character  she  admired  and 
who  never  condemned  any  one.  She  remembered  how  her  mother, 
who  was  an  invalid,  always  had  a  glass  of  whisky  and  water  on 
her  table  at  night,  and  how  the  family  used  to  joke  her  about  it. 
Then  came  memories  again  of  her  husband  sending  bottles  of 
whisky  to  her  mother;  of  the  latter  drinking  it  at  night;  of  the 
men  whom  she  had  seen  in  the  slums  and  who  had  been  drinking. 
These,  very  briefly,  were  the  experiences  accompanied  by  strong 
feeling  tones  which  were  called  up  as  associative  memories  of  this 
scene  of  the  dream.  With  these  in  mind,  it  is  not  difficult  to  con- 
struct a  logical,  though  symbolic,  meaning  of  it.  In  the  dream 
a  Jewess  (not  the  Jewess,  but  a  type)  is  in  the  act  of  drinking 
whisky — in  other  words,  the  poor,  whom  the  Jewess  represents, 
yield  to  the  temptation  which  the  dreamer  had  thought  of  with 
considerable  intensity  of  feeling  during  the  day.  The  dreamer's 
own  judgment,  after  considerable  cogitation,  had  been  that  such 
people  were  not  to  be  condemned.  Was  she  right?  The  dream 
answers  the  question,  for  the  Jewess  changes  in  the  dream  to  her 
mother,  for  whose  judgment  she  had  the  utmost  respect.  Her 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  219 

mother  now  drinks  the  whisky  as  she  had  actually  done  in  life,  a 
logical  justification  (in  view  of  her  mother's  fine  character  and 
liberal  opinion)  of  her  own  belief,  which  was  somewhat  intensely 
expressed  in  her  thoughts  of  that  morning,  a  belief  in  not  con- 
demning poor  people  who  yield  to  such  temptations.  The  dream 
scene  is  therefore  the  symbolical  representation  and  justification  of 
her  own  belief,*  and  answers  the  doubts  and  scruples  that  beset 
her  mind." 

Whether  or  not  this  is  the  correct  interpretation 
of  this  dream  depends  entirely  upon  whether  the 
true  causal  factors  were  found.  If  through  the  an- 
alysis this  was  the  case,  as  I  believe — namely,  the 
scruple  or  ethical  problem  whether  poor  people  who 
yield  to  temptation  ought  to  be  condemned — then 
the  interpretation  given  is  logically  sound  and  the 
dream  is  an  answer  to  the  doubts  and  scruples  that 
beset  the  dreamer's  mind.  But  the  answer  is  a  pic- 
torial symbolism  and  therefore  requires  an  inter- 
vening subconscious  process  which  induces  and  fi- 
nally expresses  itself  in  the  symbolism.  We  may 
suppose  that  this  process  in  response  to  and  as  a 
subconscious  incubation  of  the  ethical  problem  took 
some  form  like  this:  ''Poor  people  like  the  Jewess 
are  not  to  be  condemned  for  yielding  to  the  tempta- 
tion (of  drinking)  for  my  mother,  who  was  beyond 
criticism,  showed  by  her  life  she  would  not  have  con- 
demned them." 

This  may  or  may  not  be  the  true  subconscious 

*  The  symbolic  expression  of  beliefs  and  symbolic  answers  to 
doubts  and  scruples  is  quite  common  in  another  type  of  symbolism, 
viz.,  visions.  Religious  and  political  history  is  replete  with  exam- 
plea. 


220  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

process  and  the  correct  interpretation  of  the  dream. 
But  it  is  one  possible  and  logical  interpretation 
based  upon  the  actually  found  antecedent  experi- 
ences and  associative  memories  of  the  dreamer. 
Now  it  so  happens  that  this  interpretation  and  that 
of  other  dreams  *  which  I  endeavored  to  trace  to 
antecedent  experiences  have  been  warmly  chal- 
lenged by  certain  clinicians  because  the  inferred 
causal  factors  were  not  found  to  be  antecedent  re- 
pressed sexual  wishes.  It  is  insisted  on  theoretical 
grounds  that  the  content  of  the  dreams  plainly  indi- 
cated that  there  must  have  been  such  wishes  and  that 
if  these  had  been  found  this  dream  would  have  been 
unfolded  as  a  logical  symbolical  fulfilment  of  a  sex- 
ual wish.  Which  interpretation  is  correct  is  incon- 
sequential for  our  present  purpose.  The  contro- 
versy only  relates  to  the  universality  of  the  sexual 
theory  of  dreams.  The  point  is  that  this  difference 
in  interpretation  shows  the  possibility  of  error  in 
the  determination  of  the  causal  factor  and  the  sub- 
conscious process  by  clinical  methods.  The  dream 
may  be  logically  related  to  two  or  more  antecedent 
experiences  and  we  have  no  criterion  of  which  is  the 
correct  one.  To  insist  upon  one  or  the  other  savors 
of  pure  dogmatism.f  Indeed,  the  justification  for 
the  postulation  in  a  dream  of  any  subconscious  proc- 

*  Loc.  tit. 

f  It  has  been  answered  that  experience  in  a  large  number  of  cases 
shows  that  dreams  always  can  be  related  logically  to  sexual  experi- 
ences. To  this  it  may  be  answered  they  can  also  in  an  equal  number 
of  cases,  indeed  in  many  oi  these  same  cases,  be  related  to  non-sexual 
experiences. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  221 

ess  in  the  last  analysis  depends  upon  the  sound- 
ness of  the  postulation  of  the  antecedent  experience 
as  the  causal  factor.  If  this  factor  falls  to  the 
ground  the  subconscious  process  falls  with  it. 

The  second  point  to  which  this  discussion  leads 
us  is  that  the  latitude  of  interpretation  allowed  by 
the  method  of  analysis  has  given  rise  to  different 
views  as  to  the  specific  character  of  the  subconscious 
process  found  in  many  dreams.  According  to  the 
theory  of  Freud,  to  whose  genius  we  are  indebted 
for  the  discovery  of  this  process,  it  is  almost 
always  a  sexual  wish  and  the  dream  is  always 
the  imaginary,  even  though  cryptic,  fulfilment  of 
that  wish.  On  the  other  hand,  as  a  result 
of  my  own  studies,  if  I  may  venture  to  lay  weight 
upon  them,  I  have  been  forced  to  the  conclusion  that 
a  dream  may  be  the  symbolical  expression  of  almost 
any  thought  to  which  strong  emotional  tones  with 
their  impulsive  forces  have  been  linked,  particularly 
anxieties,  apprehensions,  sorrows,  beliefs,  wishes, 
doubts,  and  scruples,  which  function  subconsciously 
in  the  dream.  It  may  be  a  solution  of  unsolved 
problems  with  which  the  mind  has  been  occupied,* 
just  as  in  the  waking  state  a  mathematical  or  other 
problem  may  be  solved  subconsciously.  In  some 
subjects  the  problem  is  particularly  apt  to  be 
one  involving  a  conflict  between  opposing  im- 

*  Loc.  cit.  It  is  possible,  however,  that  sometimes  the  problem 
has  been  solved  subconsciously  in  the  waking  state,  the  answer  then 
appearing  in  the  dream. 


222  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

pulses,    therefore    one    which    has    troubled    the 
dreamer.* 

We  have  seen  that  in  experimental  and  spontane- 
ous hallucinatory  phenomena,  where  the  causal  fac- 
tor is  known,  a  subconscious  process  is  the  essential 
feature  of  the  mechanism.  In  this  respect  the  mech- 
anism is  identical  with  that  of  certain  dreams.  In- 
deed, dreams  are  one  type  of  hallucinatory  phenom- 
ena. In  fact  we  met  with  one  dream  the  chief  ele- 
ment of  which  was  repeated  afterward  in  the  wak- 
ing state  as  a  vision.  We  are  justified,  then,  in  ap- 
plying the  principle  of  a  subconscious  process  to  the 
elucidation  of  the  visions  of  normal  people,  although 
it  may  be  difficult  to  determine  exactly  the  specific 
content  of  the  process  and  the  antecedent  thought 
from  which  it  was  derived.  Sometimes  the  content 
of  a  vision  and  the  known  circumstances  under 
which  it  occurred  are  sufficient  to  enable  us  to  in- 
terpret the  phenomenon  with  reasonable  certainty. 
In  the  following  historical  examples  it  is  not  diffi- 
cult to  recognize  that  the  vision  was  a  symbolic  an- 
swer to  a  problem  which  had  troubled  the  conscience 
of  the  Archduke  Charles  of  Austria.  Unable  to 
solve  his  problem  consciously  and  come  to  a  deci- 
sion, it  was  solved  for  him  by  a  subconscious  proc- 
ess. Indeed,  as  a  fact,  the  vision  was  accepted  by 
Charles  as  an  answer  to  his  doubts  and  perhaps 
changed  the  future  history  of  Austria. 

*  Here  we  find  an  analogy  with  certain  allied  phenomena — the 
visions  and  voices  experienced  as  phenomena  of  sudden  religious 
conversion. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  223 

"The  Archduke  Charles  (the  father  of  the  present  Emperor  of 
Austria)  was  also  greatly  troubled  in  his  mind  as  to  the  right  to 
waive  his  claim  to  the  crown  in  favor  of  his  son.  According  to 
his  own  statement  he  only  finally  made  up  his  mind  when,  while 
earnestly  praying  for  guidance  in  his  perplexity,  he  had  a  vision 
of  the  spirit  of  his  father,  the  late  Emperor  Francis,  laying  his 
hand  on  the  head  of  his  youthful  grandson  and  thus  putting  all  his 
own  doubts  to  rest."  * 

The  likeness  in  type  of  the  dream  which  we  have 
just  discussed  to  this  vision  is  instructive.  In  the 
former  the  mother  of  the  dreamer  answers  the  ques- 
tion of  conscience  by  drinking  the  whisky;  in  the 
latter  the  father  of  the  visualizer  does  the  same  by 
laying  his  hand  on  the  head  of  the  object  of  the 
doubt. 

I  have  already  pointed  out  the  evidence  for  a  sub- 
conscious process  underlying  the  hallucinatory  phe- 
nomena of  sudden  religious  conversion.!  I  may 
further  cite  here,  as  an  analogous  phenomenon,  the 
following  historical  example  of  not  only  hallucina- 
tory symbolism,  but  of  explicitly  conscious  proc- 
esses of  thought  which  were  elaborated  by  subcon- 
scious processes.  It  is  Margaret  Mary's  vision  of 
the  Sacred  Heart.  Margaret  earnestly  desired  (ac- 
cording to  her  biographer)— 

"To  be  loved  by  God!  and  loved  by  him  to  distraction  (aime* 
jusqu'a  la  folie) ! — Margaret  melted  away  with  love  at  the 

*  Francis  Joseph  and  His  Times  Sir  Horace  Bumbold.  Page 
151.  (Italics  mine.) 

f  See  also,  ' '  The  Psychology  of  Sudden  Religious  Conversion, ' ' 
Journal  Abnormal  Psychology,  April*  1906,  and  "The  Dissociation," 
2nd  Edit.,  pages  344  and  564;  also  James'  "The  Varieties  of  Re- 
ligious Experience. ' ' 


224  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

thought  of  such  a  thing.  Like  St.  Philip  of  Neri  in  former  times, 
or  like  St.  Francis  Xavier,  she  said  to  God:  'Hold  back,  O  my 
God,  these  torrents  which  overwhelm  me,  or  else  enlarge  my  ca- 
pacity for  their  reception.' " 

The  answer  and  the  form  of  the  fulfilment  of  this 
wish  came  as  an  hallucination.  She  had  a  vision  of 
Christ's  Sacred  Heart 

"  'surrounded  with  rays  more  brilliant  than  the  sun,  and  trans- 
parent like  a  crystal.  The  wound  which  he  received  on  the  cross 
visibly  appeared  upon  it.  There  was  a  crown  of  thorns  round- 
about this  divine  Heart,  and  a  cross  above  it/  At  the  same 
time  Christ's  voice  told  her  that,  unable  longer  to  contain  the 
flames  of  his  love  for  mankind,  he  had  chosen  her  by  a  miracle  to 
spread  the  knowledge  of  them.  He  thereupon  took  out  her  mortal 
heart,  placed  it  inside  of  his  own  and  inflamed  it,  and  then  re- 
placed it  in  her  breast,  adding:  'Hitherto  thou  hast  taken  the 
name  of  my  slave,  hereafter  thou  shalt  be  called  the  well-beloved 
disciple  of  my  Sacred  Heart.' "  * 

There  is  scarcely  room  to  doubt,  on  the  strength 
of  the  evidence  as  presented,  that  the  antecedent 
longings  of  Margaret  impelled  by  the  conative  force 
of  their  emotions  were  the  causal  factor  of  this 
vision.  These  longings,  organized  in  the  uncon- 
scious, must  have  gone  through  subconscious  incu- 
bation (as  William  James  has  pointed  out)  and 
then  emerged  after  maturity  into  consciousness 
as  a  symbolic  visualization  accompanied  by  hal- 
lucinatory words  which  were  the  expression  of 
explicit  subconscious  imagination.  Indeed,  all  such 

*  Quoted  by  William  James,  page  343. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  225 

hallucinatory  symbolisms — like  the  mental  phenom- 
ena in  general  of  sudden  religious  conversion — can 
only  be  psychologically  explained  as  the  emergence 
into  consciousness  of  subconscious  processes.  The 
problem  in  each  case  is  the  determination  of  the 
content  of  the  process.* 

Re-flection,  consideration,  meditation. — We  are  en- 
tering upon  more  uncertain  ground  in  attempting  to 
apply  the  mechanism  of  subconscious  processes  to 
every-day  thought.  There  are  certain  types  of 
thought,  however,  which  behave  as  if  this  mechanism 
were  at  work.  When,  for  instance,  we  take  a  prob- 
lem "under  advisement,"  reflect  upon  it,  give  it 
' '  thoughtful  consideration, ' '  it  seems  as  if,  in  weigh- 
ing the  facts  pro  and  con,  in  looking  at  it  from  dif- 
ferent points  of  view,  i.  e.,  in  switching  it  into  dif- 
ferent settings,  in  considering  all  the  facts  related 
to  it,  we  voluntarily  recall  each  fact  that  comes  into 
consciousness.  Yet  it  is  quite  possible,  and  indeed 
I  think  more  than  probable,  reasoning  from  analogy, 
that  the  processes  which  present  each  fact,  switch 
each  point  of  view,  or  setting  into  consciousness, 
are  subconscious  and  that  what  we  do  is  chiefly  to 
select  from  those  which  are  thus  brought  into  con- 
sciousness the  ideas,  settings,  etc.,  which  fulfil  best 
the  requirements  of  the  question.  In  profound  re- 
flection or  attention  to  thought  (a  form  of  absent- 

*  Some  will  undoubtedly  read  into  Margaret's  vision  a  cryptic 
sexual  symbolism.  To  do  so  seems  to  me  too  narrow  a  view,  in  that 
it  fails  to  give  full  weight  to  other  instincts  (and  emotions)  and  to 
appreciate  all  the  forces  of  human  personality. 


226  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

mindedness)  it  seems  as  if  it  were  more  a  matter  of 
attention  to  and  selection  from  the  "free  associa- 
tions" which  involuntarily  come  into  the  mind  than 
of  determining  voluntarily  what  shall  come  in.  If 
this  be  so,  it  is  evident  that  the  subconscious  plays  a 
much  more  extensive  part  in  the  mechanism  of 
thought  than  is  ordinarily  supposed.  We  have  not, 
however,  sufficient  data  to  allow  us  to  do  much  more 
than  theorize  in  the  matter.  Yet  there  are  certain 
data  which  suggest  the  probability  of  the  correct- 
ness of  this  hypothesis.  In  this  connection  I  would 
point  out  how  entirely  confirmatory  of  this  view  is 
the  testimony  of  the  hypnotic  consciousness  which 
was  cited  in  the  previous  lecture  and  which  I  will 
ask  you  to  recall.  You  will  remember  that  this  tes- 
timony was  to  the  effect  that  when  a  problem  was 
under  consideration  associative  memories  required 
for  its  solution  kept  emerging  out  of  the  unconscious 
into  the  secondary  consciousness.* 

Consider  certain  facts  of  every-day  experience. 
A  novel  and  difficult  question  is  put  up  to  us  for  de- 
cision. We  have,  we  will  say,  to  decide  whether  a 
certain  piece  of  property  situated  in  a  growing  dis- 
trict of  a  city  shall  be  sold  or  held  for  future  devel- 
opment: or  a  political  manager  has  to  decide 
whether  or  not  to  pursue  a  certain  policy  to  win  an 
election;  or  the  President  of  the  United  States  has 
to  decide  the  policy  of  the  government  in  certain 
land  questions  in.  Alaska.  Now  each  of  us  would 
probably  say  that  we  could  not  decide  such  a  ques- 

*  Lecture  VI,  pp.  169-172. 


SUBCONSCIOUS   INTELLIGENCE  227 

tion  offhand ;  we  would  want  time  for  consideration. 
If  we  attempted  voluntarily,  at  the  moment  the  ques- 
tion is  put,  to  recall  to  mind  all  the  different  facts 
involved,  to  consider  the  given  question  from  all  as- 
pects, to  switch  the  main  facts  into  their  different 
settings,  we  would  find  it  an  impossible  thing  to  do. 
We  consequently  take  the  matter  "under  advise- 
ment," to  use  the  conventional  expression.  We 
want  time.  Now  what  we  apparently,  and  I  think 
undoubtedly,  do  is  to  put  the  problem  into  our  minds 
and  leave  it,  so  to  speak,  to  incubate.  Then,  from 
time  to  time,  as  we  take  up  the  matter  for  considera- 
tion, the  various  facts  involved  in  the  different  as- 
pects of  the  question,  and  belonging  to  their  differ- 
ent settings,  arise  to  mind.  Then  we  weigh,  com- 
pare, and  estimate  the  value  of  these  different  facts 
and  arrive  at  a  judgment.  All  happens  as  if  sub- 
conscious processes  had  been  at  work,  as  if  the  prob- 
lem had  been  going  through  a  subconscious  incuba- 
tion, switching  in  this  and  switching  in  that  set  of 
facts,  and  presenting  them  to  consciousness,  the  final 
selection  of  the  deciding  point  of  view  being  left  to 
the  latter.  The  subconscious  garners  from  the  store" 
house  of  past  experiences,  those  which  have  a  bear- 
ing on  the  question  and  are  required  for  its  solution, 
brings  them  into  consciousness,  and  then  our  logical 
conscious  processes  form  the  judgment.  The  degree 
to  which  subconscious  processes  in  this  way  take 
part  in  forming  judgments  would  vary  according  to 
the  mental  habits  of  the  individual,  the  complexity 
of  the  problem,  the  affectivity  and  conflicting  char- 


228  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

acter  of  the  elements  involved.  Under  this  theory 
we  see  that  there  is  a  deeper  psychological  basis  for 
the  every-day  practice  of  taking  "under  advise- 
ment" or  "into  consideration"  a  matter,  before 
giving  judgment,  than  would  appear  on  the  surface. 
There  is  considerable  experimental  evidence  in  fa- 
vor of  this  theory.  In  discussing  above  the  subcon- 
scious solution  of  problems  I  cited  certain  evidence, 
obtained  from  the  memories  of  subjects  in  hypnosis, 
for  coconscious  and  unconscious  processes  taking 
part  in  such  solutions.  I  have  been  able  to  accumu- 
late evidence  of  this  kind  showing  the  cooperation 
of  processes  outside  of  consciousness  in  determining 
the  point  of  view  and  final  judgment  of  the  subject 
when  a  matter  has  been  under  advisement;  particu- 
larly when  the  subject  has  been  disturbed  by  doubts 
and  scruples.  It  is  plain  that  in  the  final  analysis 
any  question  on  which  we  reserve  our  judgment  is  a 
problem  which  we  put  into  our  minds.  And,  after 
all,  it  is  only  a  question  of  degree  and  affectivity  be- 
tween the  state  of  mind  which  hesitates  to  decide  an 
impersonal  question,  like  a  judicial  decision,  and  one 
that  involves  a  scruple  of  conscience.  This  latter 
state  often  eventuates  in  hallucinatory  and  other 
phenomena  involving  subconscious  processes.  Scru- 
ples of  conscience,  it  is  true,  usually  have  strong  af- 
fective elements  as  constituents,  but  the  former  may 
also  have  them,  particularly  when  involving  per- 
sonal ambitions,  political  principles,  etc. 


Our  studies  up  to  this  point  have  led  us  to  the 
general  conclusion  that  a  large  measure  of  the  ex- 
periences of  life  are  conserved  or  deposited  in  what 
may  be  called  a  storehouse  of  neurographic  dispo- 
sitions or  residua.  This  storehouse  is  the  uncon- 
scious. From  this  storehouse  our  conscious  proc- 
esses draw  for  the  material  of  thought.  Further, 
a  large  amount  and  variety  of  evidence,  which  we 
have  briefly  and  incompletely  reviewed,  has  shown 
that  conserved  experiences  may  function  without 
arising  into  consciousness,  i.  e.,  as  a  subconscious 
process.  To  what  extent  such  processes  take  part 
in  the  mechanism  of  thought,  contribute  to  the  for- 
mation of  judgments,  determine  the  point  of  view 
and  meaning  of  ideas,  give  direction  to  the  stream 
and  formulate  the  content  of  consciousness,  and  in 
particular  conditions,  by  a  species  of  translation, 
manifest  themselves  consciously  as  phenomena 
which  we  designate  abnormal  constitute  special 
problems  wrhich  require  to  be  studied  by  themselves. 

Physiological  memory  and  processes. — There  is  one 
phase  of  the  unconscious  which  for  the  sake  of  com- 

229 


230  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

pleteness  ought  to  be  touched  upon  here,  particu- 
larly as  it  is  of  considerable  importance  in  any  bio- 
logical conception  of  intelligence.  There  is  every 
reason  to  believe  that  intrinsically  there  is  no  essen- 
tial difference  between  those  physiological  disposi- 
tions and  activities  of  the  lower  nervous  centers 
(subcortical  ganglia  and  spinal  cord),  which  condi- 
tion and  determine  unconscious  behavior,  and  those 
dispositions  and  activities  of  the  higher  centers — the 
cortex — which  condition  and  determine  both  con- 
scious and  unconscious  behavior.  The  former  are 
undoubtedly  innate  in  that  they  are  primarily  condi- 
tioned by  inherited  anatomical  and  physiological 
prearrangements  of  neurons  and  the  latter  are  pre- 
eminently acquired  through  experience  although 
probably  not  wholly  so.  (Our  knowledge  of  the 
localization  of  function  in  the  nervous  system  is  not 
sufficiently  definite  to  enable  us  to  delimit  the  locali- 
zation of  either  innate  or  acquired  dispositions.) 
The  innate  activities  of  the  lower  nervous  centers  so 
far  as  represented  by  movements  can  be  clearly  dif- 
ferentiated from  those  of  the  higher  centers  and 
recognized  in  the  behavior  of  so-called  "spinal"  an- 
imals and  of  animals  from  which  the  cerebral  hemi- 
spheres have  been  removed.  In  the  former  the  con- 
nection between  the  spinal  cord  and  all  parts  of  the 
nervous  system  above  having  been  severed,  what- 
ever movements  are  executed  are  performed  by  the 
spinal  cord  alone  and  therefore  of  course  by  uncon- 
scious processes.  The  latter  animals,  although  their 
actions  are  more  complex  and  closely  approximate 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  231 

(with  important  differences)  those  of  normal  ani- 
mals, are  also  devoid  or  nearly  devoid  of  conscious- 
ness. I  say  "nearly  devoid"  because  in  the  inter- 
pretation of  the  experiments  it  is  difficult  to  dis- 
prove that,  as  some  hold,  elementary  sensations — 
qua  sensation — are  retained,  though  others  regard 
the  animals  as  purely  unconscious  physiological  ma- 
chines. 

In  the  spinal  animal,  in  response  to  specific  stim- 
uli, various  movements  are  elicited  which  though  of 
a  purposive  character  are  effected,  as  has  been  so 
admirably  worked  out  by  Sherington,  by  complex 
spinal  mechanisms  of  a  reflex  character.  The  so- 
called  ' '  scratch  reflex ' '  and  the  reflex  movements  of 
walking,  trotting,  and  galloping  (the  animal  being 
suspended  in  air)  are  examples.  Such  reflexes  in- 
volve not  only  the  excitation  of  certain  movements 
appropriate  to  the  stimulus  but  the  inhibition  of  an- 
tagonistic muscles  and  reflex  movements.  Further 
in  the  integration  of  the  spinal  system,  reflexes  are 
compounded,  one  bringing  to  the  support  of  an- 
other allied  accessory  reflexes  so  that  various  co- 
operative movements  are  executed.  A  constellation 
of  reflexes  leads  to  quite  complex  spinal  mechanisms 
responsive  to  groups  of  stimuli  acting  concurrently 
and  resulting  in  behavior  which  is  purposive  and 
adaptive  to  the  situation.  The  neural  processes  ex- 
ecuting such  movements  are  necessarily  conditioned 
by  inherited  dispositions  and  structural  arrange- 
ments of  the  neurons. 

In   the   animal   from   which   the   cerebral   hemi- 


232  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

spheres  only  have  been  removed  there  can  be  little 
doubt  that  the  physiological  mechanisms  governing 
behavior  differ  only  in  complexity,  not  in  kind,  from 
those  of  the  spinal  reflexes ;  that  in  passing  through 
successive  anatomical  levels  from  the  spinal  animal 
to  this  decerebrate  animal  with  the  addition  of  each 
successive  ganglion  the  increasing  complexity  of  be- 
havior corresponds  to  increasing  complexity  of 
mechanisms  or  compounding  of  reflexes.  And  yet  in 
the  decerebrate  animal  without  consciousness,  as  we 
must  believe  (excepting  perhaps  elementary  sensa- 
tions), the  subcortical  ganglia  and  spinal  cord  con- 
tinue to  perform  exceedingly  complex  actions  ordi- 
narily, as  we  suppose,  guided  in  the  normal  animal 
by  consciousness.  The  reptile  crawls;  the  fish 
swims;  indeed  the  lancet  fish  has  no  brain,  all  its 
functions  being  regulated  by  its  spinal  cord.  The 
frog  hops  and  swims;  the  hen  preens  its  feathers, 
walks  and  flies;  the  dog  walks  and  runs.  These, 
however,  are  the  simplest  examples  of  decerebrate 
behavior.  Indeed  it  may  be  quite  complex.  The 
more  recent  experiments  of  Schrader  on  the  pigeon 
and  falcon  and  Goltz  and  Kothmann  on  the  dog, 
not  to  mention  those  of  earlier  physiologists,  have 
shown  that  the  decerebrate  unconscious  (?)  animal 
performs  about  all  the  movements  performed  by 
the  normal  animal.*  "A  mammal  such  as  a  rab- 
bit, in  the  same  way  as  a  frog  and  a  bird,  may 

*  For  a  general  account  of  the  behavior  of  decerebrate  animals 
and  summary  of  these  experiments  see  Loeb  'a  ' '  Physiology  of  the 
Brain, ' '  and  Schaf er  's  Text  Book  of  Physiology. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  233 

in  the  complete  or  all  but  complete  absence  of  the 
cerebral  hemispheres  maintain  a  natural  posture, 
free  from  all  signs  of  disturbance  of  equilibrium, 
and  is  able  to  carry  out  with  success  at  all  events 
all  the  usual  and  common  bodily  movements.  And 
as  in  the  bird  and  frog,  the  evidence  also  shows  that 
these  movements  not  only  may  be  started  by,  but  in 
their  carrying  out  are  guided  by  and  coordinated  by, 
afferent  impulses  along  afferent  nerves,  including 
those  of  the  special  senses.  But  in  the  case  of  the 
rabbit  it  is  even  still  clearer  than  in  the  case  of  the 
bird  that  the  effects  of  these  afferent  impulses  are 
different  from  those  which  result  when  the  impulses 
gain  access  to  an  intact  brain.  The  movements  of 
the  animal  seem  guided  by  impressions  made  on  its 
retina,  as  well  as  on  other  sensory  nerves ;  we  may 
perhaps  speak  of  the  animal  as  the  subject  of  sensa- 
tions; but  there  is  no  satisfactory  evidence  that  it 
possesses  either  visual  or  other  perceptions,  or  that 
the  sensations  which  it  experiences  give  rise  to 
ideas."  * 

Even  spontaneity  which  at  one  time  was  supposed 
to  be  lost  it  is  now  agreed  returns  if  the  animal  is 
kept  alive  long  enough.  It  "  wanders  about  in  the 
room  untiringly  the  greater  part  of  the  day" 
(Loeb). 

Of  course  there  are  differences  in  the  animal's  be- 
havior when  compared  with  normal  behavior,  but 
these  differences  are  not  so  easy  to  interpret  in  psy- 
chological terms.  Loeb,  apparently  following 

*  M.  Foster:     A  Text  Book  of  Physiology,  1895,  page  726. 


234  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Schrader,  does  not  believe  the  animal  is  blind  or 
deaf  or  without  sensation  for  it  reacts  to  light,  to 
noise,  to  smell,  to  tactile  impressions,  etc.  It  avoids 
obstacles  and  is  guided  by  visual  impressions,  etc. 
The  falcon  jumps  at  and  catches  a  mouse  introduced 
in  its  cage;  the  dog  growls  and  snaps  if  its  paw  is 
pinched  and  endeavors  to  get  away  or  bite  the  of- 
fending hand;  the  pigeon  flies  and  alights  upon  a 
bar,  apparently  visually  measuring  distance,  and  so 
on.  But  though  it  is  guided  by  visual  and  other  sen- 
sory impressions,  does  it  have  visual,  auditory  and 
other  images,  that  is,  conscious  sensory  states  ?  This 
is  not  easy  to  answer.  It  certainly  acts  like  an  ani- 
mal that  is  not  blind  nor  deaf  nor  without  tactual 
sensation,  and  yet  it  is  conceivable  that  it  is  guided 
simply  by  sensory  mechanisms  without  conscious 
sensation.  The  main  reason,  apparently,  for  believ- 
ing the  animal  to  be  without  sensation,  as  some  be- 
lieve (e.  g.,  Morgan)  is  the  absence  of  the  cerebral 
cortex  in  which  alone  sensation  is  believed  to  be  "  lo- 
calized. ' '  Recently  Eothmann  *  has  succeeded  in 
keeping  alive  for  three  years  a  dog  from  which  the 
entire  cerebrum  was  extirpated.  It  was  then  killed. 
Although  the  dog,  like  Goltz'  dog,  in  its  behavior 
exhibited  an  abundance  of  functions  in  the  spheres 
of  mobility,  sensibility,  feeding,  barking,  etc.,  Both- 
mann  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it  was  blind  and 

*  Von  M.  Eothmann :  Demonstration  des  Hundes  ohne  Gross- 
irn.  Bericht  uber  den  V  Kongress  f.  Experiment.  Psychol.  in  Ber- 
lin, 1912,  page  256.  The  report  is  too  meager  to  admit  of  independ- 
ent judgment  of  the  animal's  behavior  in  many  of  its  details. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  235' 

deaf.*  Although  apparently  without  taste  for  bit- 
ter, sweet,  sour,  and  acid,  yet  the  dog  reacted  differ- 
ently to  edible  and  non-edible  substances,  swallowing 
the  former  and  rejecting  the  latter  (moist  sand) ; 
raw  flesh  was  eaten  preferably  to  cooked  flesh  -and 
Goltz'  dog  rejected  from  its  mouth  food  made  bit- 
ter with  quinine.  Some  kind  of  gustatory  processes 
(probably  purely  reflex  as  in  Pawlow's  association 
experiments)  were  therefore  retained  though  not 
necessarily  taste  as  such.  But  blindness  and  deaf- 
ness in  the  dog  cannot  negative  the  retention  in 
birds  and  other  animals  of  visual  and  auditory  im- 
pressions of  some  kind  which  guide  and  originate 
behavior.  But  whether  such  impressions  are  psy- 
chologically sensations  or  not,  the  animal  certainly 
does  not  possess  visual  or  other  perceptions,  be- 
cause the  "  sensations"  have  no  "  meaning." 
Schrader's  falcon,  for  example,  would  jump  at  and 
catch  with  its  claws  a  moving  mouse  in  the  cage,  but 
there  the  matter  was  at  an  end ;  it  did  not  devour  it 
as  would  a  normal  falcon.  Any  moving  object  had 
for  it  the  same  meaning  as  a  mouse  and  excited  the 
same  movement.  So  the  decerebrate  dog  does  not 
distinguish  friend  from  stranger  and  other  dogs 
have  no  meaning  for  it.  All  objects  are  alike  to  all 
decerebrate  animals.  In  the  popular  language  of 
the  street  "all  coons  look  alike"  to  them.  In  other 

*  Until  the  basal  ganglia  have  been  microscopically  examined  it 
cannot  be  determined  that  the  loss  of  function  was  not  due  to  sec- 
ondary organic  lesions.  In  Goltz'  dog,  which  acted  like  a  blind  dog, 
one  optic  nerve  was  cut  and  the  corpora  striata  and  optic  thalami 
were  partly  involved  in  the  lesion. 


236  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

words  the  main  defect  is  loss  of  memory  for  con- 
scious experiences,  of  what  Loeb  calls  associative- 
memory,  the  conscious  memory  which  gives  meaning 
to  sensations,  transforms  them  by  synthesis  into 
perception  of  objects  and  gives  still  further  mean- 
ing to  the  objects.  Hence  for  the  pigeon  without  its 
cerebrum  "Everything  is  only  a  mass  in  space,  it 
moves  aside  for  every  pigeon  or  attempts  to  climb 
over  it,  just  as  it  would  in  the  case  of  a  stone.  All 
authors  agree  in  the  statement  that  to  these  animals 
all  objects  are  alike.  They  have  no  enemies  and  no 
friends.  They  live  like  hermits  no  matter  in  how 
large  a  company  they  find  themselves.  The  lan- 
guishing coo  of  the  male  makes  as  little  impression 
upon  the  female  deprived  of  its  cerebrum  as  the  rat- 
tling of  peas  or  the  whistle  which  formerly  made  it 
hasten  to  its  feeding  place.  Neither  does  the  female 
show  interest  in  its  young.  The  young  ones  that 
have  just  learned  to  fly  pursue  the  mother,  crying 
unceasingly  for  food,  but  they  might  as  well  beg 
food  of  a  stone."  * 

One  of  the  chief  utilities  of  conscious  memory  is 
the  means  it  offers  the  psycho-physiological  organ- 
ism to  make  use  of  past  experiences  to  adapt  present 
conduct  to  a  present  situation.  This  the  brainless 
animal  cannot  do.  Hence  it  is  a  mindless  physio- 
logical automaton.  All  the  actions  performed  by  it, 
however  complex  they  may  be,  are  unquestionably 
performed  and  primarily  conditioned  by  inherited 
neural  arrangements  and  dispositions.  They  may 

*  Quoted  from  Schrader  by  Loeb. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  237 

be  even  regarded  as  complexly  compounded  reflex 
processes  similar  excepting  in  complexity,  as  Sher- 
rington  has  held,  to  the  mechanisms  of  the  spinal 
cord.  The  behavior  of  the  animal  is  therefore  by 
definition  instinctive.  But  even  so  this  fact  in  no 
way  throws  light  upon  the  intrinsic  nature  of  the 
physiological  process,  but  only  upon  the  conditions 
of  its  occurrence.  Acquired  behavior  is  also  condi- 
tioned— conditioned  by  acquired  dispositions.  The 
difference  physiologically  between  the  two  is  that  in 
instinctive  behavior  the  neural  processes  are  con- 
fined to  pathways  established  by  evolutionary  de- 
velopment, and  in  acquired  behavior  to  pathways 
established  by  experience.  Both  must  be  condi- 
tioned by  pathways,  and  the  process  in  its  inner  na- 
ture must  be  the  same  in  both.  Many  cortical  proc- 
esses, to  be  sure,  are  conscious — i.  e.,  correlated 
with  consciousness — but  probably  not  all.  And  this 
quality  of  consciousness  permitting  of  conscious 
memory  is  of  great  utility  in  the  organization  of  ac- 
quired dispositions  that  provide  the  means  for  the 
adaption  of  the  animal  to  each  new  environmental 
situation. 

Furthermore,  it  is  not  at  all  certain  that  the  be- 
havior of  the  decerebrate  animal  is  not  in  part  de- 
termined by  secondarily  acquired  dispositions.  In 
the  normal  animal  instinctive  actions  become  modi- 
fied and  perfected  after  the  very  first  performances 
of  the  act  by  conscious  experience  *  and  it  is  not  at 
all  certain  that  dispositions  so  acquired  and  essen- 

*  Cf .  Lloyd  Morgan:     Instinct  and  Experience,  1912. 


238  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tial  for  these  modifications  are  not  conserved  and 
incorporated  in  the  unconscious  neural  arrange- 
ments of  the  subcortical  centers.  So  far  as  this  may 
be  the  case  the  acquired  modifications  of  instinctive 
behavior  may  be  manifested  in  the  actions  of  the  de- 
cerebrate  animals.  In  other  words,  the  unconscious 
processes  of  the  lower  nervous  centers  motivating 
movements  (and  visceral  functions)  may  include 
acquired  dispositions  or  physiological  memories. 

That  the  subcortical  centers  are  capable  of  mem- 
ory seems  to  have  been  shown  for  the  first  time  by 
Eothmann's  dog.  This  mindless  animal  proved  to 
be  capable  of  a  certain  amount  of  education.  It 
learned  to  avoid  hitting  against  objects,  and  to  do 
certain  tricks — jumping  over  a  hurdle  and  follow- 
ing on  its  hind  legs  a  stool  upon  which  its  fore  feet 
were  placed  as  the  stool  was  dragged  forward.  ' '  In 
the  perfection  of  all  these  performances  the  influ- 
ence of  practice  was  easily  recognized."  This 
means,  if  the  interpretation  given  is  correct,  that 
new  dispositions  and  new  connections  may  be  ac- 
quired within  the  lower  centers  without  the  inter- 
vention of  the  integrating  influence  of  the  cortex  or 
conscious  intelligence.*  This  is  an  important  con- 
tribution for  apparently  the  attempt  to  educate 
brainless  animals  had  not  been  previously  made, 
and  their  capability  for  education  demonstrated. 

The  important  bearing  which  this  fact  has  upon 

*  Dr.  Morgan  in  his  work,  "Instinct  and  Experience,"  1912,  pub- 
lished before  Eothmann  's  observations,  remarks  that  this  ' '  is  not  in- 
herently improbable ' '  although  it  had  not  as  yet  been  demonstrated. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  239 

this  discussion  is  that  it  shows  that  unconscious  proc- 
esses are  capable  of  memory,  that  is  physiological 
memory.  It  may  be  said  that  this  statement  needs 
some  modification  if  the  sensory  "impressions" 
guiding  the  decerebrate  animal  are  to  be  interpreted 
as  true  psychological,  however  elementary,  "sensa- 
tions." It  would  seem  to  me  on  the  contrary  only 
to  accentuate  the  fact  that  the  processes  of  the 
brainless  animal  are  on  a  transition  level  between 
the  purely  unconscious  processes  of  the  spinal  ani- 
mal and  the  purely  (if  ever  wholly  so)  conscious 
processes  of  the  normal  animal,  and  that  intrinsi- 
cally all  are  of  the  same  nature.  If  sensation  en- 
ters into  the  complex  reflex  reactions  of  the  brain- 
less animal  it  would  seem  that  it  can  only  be  an  ele- 
mental conscious  factor  in  a  complicated  uncon- 
scious physiological  mechanism.  In  this  mechanism 
it  can  have  no  more  specific  importance  in  deter- 
mining behavior,  because  of  the  fact  of  its  being  a 
psychological  state,  than  if  it  were  a  receptor 
"impression"  intercalated  in  the  arc  of  an  innate 
process.  It  is  not  linked  with  any  associative  mem- 
ories of  the  past  or  foresight  into  the  future ;  it  does 
not  constitute  conscious  intelligence.  As  a  con- 
scious experience  it  cannot  have  that  kind  of  "mean- 
ing" which  in  the  normal  animal  modifies  instinc- 
tive processes  and  determines  conduct.  It  prob- 
ably plays  simply  the  same  part  in  the  whole  proc- 
ess, which  otherwise  is  wholly  unconscious,  that  the 
associative  sensory  image  plays  in  determining  the 
flow  of  thick  or  thin  saliva  in  Pawlow's  dogs — sim- 


240  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ply  a  single  link  in  a  chain  of  associated  reflex  proc- 
esses. 

The  next  point  to  which  I  would  direct  attention 
is  that  from  an  objective  point  of  view  the  behavior 
of  the  decerebrate  animal  may  be  in  nature  intelli- 
gent in  the  empirical  sense  of  that  word.  The  dog 
that  growls  and  snaps  when  his  foot  is  pinched, 
tries  to  draw  it  away,  and,  failing  that,  bites  at  the 
offending  hand;  the  "educated"  dog  that  jumps 
over  a  hurdle,  and  walks  on  his  hind  legs,  following 
a  stool  supporting  his  front  legs,  to  my  way  of  think- 
ing performs  intelligent  actions  whether  it  has  a 
brain  or  not.  If  intelligence  is  arbitrarily  limited  to 
actions  performed  by  conscious  processes,  then  in- 
telligence becomes  a  mere  question  of  terms.* 

*  From  the  point  of  view  here  adopted,  the  recent  discussions  and 
controversies  over  the  problems  of  "instinct  and  intelligence"  have 
been  much  muddled  by  the  arbitrary  denial  of  conscious  elements  to 
an  instinctive  process,  and  by  the  acceptation  of  consciousness  or 
conscious  experience  as  the  criterion  of  intelligence.  In  this  view 
instinct  and  intelligence  become  contrasted  concepts  which  to  my 
way  of  thinking  they  are  not  necessarily  at  all.  If  it  is  admitted 
that  instinct  is  an  innate  disposition,  its  contrasted  quality  is  that 
which  is  acquired  and  not  the  quality  of  consciousness.  It  is  true 
that  acquired  behavior  is  commonly  if  not  always  determined  by  con- 
scious processes  (conscious  experience),  but  likewise  innate  behavior 
may  be  determined  by  processes  which  contain  conscious  elements. 
Surely  fear  is  instinctive  and  is  a  conscious  element  in  an  innate 
process;  and  so  must  be  visual  and  other  sensory  images,  as  in  the 
first  peck  of  a  chicken.  To  look  upon  the  first  visual  image  simply 
as  conscious  "experience,"  as  an  "onlooker,"  and  reject  it  as  a 
factor  in  the  process  which  determines  that  first  peck,  seems  to  me 
to  be  arbitrary  psychology  if  not  physiology.  If  consciousness  may 
je  a  quality  of  an  innate  process — and  why  not? — it  cannot  be  a 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  241 

There  arises  also  the  practical  difficulty  that  certain 
types  of  behavior,  which  by  common  assent  and  com- 
mon sense  are  regarded  as  purely  automatic  and 
unintelligent,  must  be  termed  intelligent  because 
guided  by  consciousness.  I  cannot  help  thinking 
that  "intelligence"  is  a  pragmatic  question,  not  a 
biological  or  psychological  one.  It  would  be  much 
more  conducive  to  a  clear  understanding  of  bio- 
logical problems  to  use  intelligence  only  as  a  con- 
venient and  useful  expression,  like  sanity  or  in- 
sanity, to  designate  certain  behavior  which  conforms 
to  a  type  which,  without  strictly  defining  its  limits, 
popular  language  has  defined  as  intelligent.  San- 
ity and  insanity  have  ceased  to  be  terms  of  scientific 
value  because  they  cannot  be  defined  in  terms  of 
specific  mental  conditions  and  much  less  in  terms 
of  mental  processes.  So  intelligence  cannot  be  de- 
criterion  of  intelligence.  The  true  converse  of  the  conscious  is  the 
unconscious. 

This  adopted  antithesis  between  consciousness  and  instinct,  from 
this  point  of  view  as  well  as  the  arbitrary  limitation  of  the  localiza- 
tion of  the  whole  of  an  instinctive  process  to  the  subcortical  centers, 
vitiates  the  force  of  the  very  able  presentation  of  the  subject  by  Dr. 
Morgan,  if  I  correctly  understand  him.  I  know  of  no  data  which 
forbid  the  cortex  to  be  included  in  the  innate  mechanism  of  an  in- 
stinctive process.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  difficult  to  understand  in- 
stinctive behavior  and  its  modifications  through  conscious  experience 
unless  cortical  centers  are  included  in  the  psycho-physiological  arcs. 
At  any  rate  we  may  define  instinct  and  intelligence  in  terms  of  the 
conscious  and  the  unconscious,  or  in  brain  terms,  but  we  should  not 
mix  up  these  aspects  with  that  of  localization  in  the  definition. 
Mr.  McDougall  's  conception  of  instinct  appeals  to  me  more  strongly 
from  both  a  biological  and  a  psychological  point  of  view,  and  further 
seems  to  me  to  be  more  in  consonance  with  the  data  of  experience. 


242  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

fined  in  terms  of  conscious  and  unconscious  proc- 
esses. Any  attempt  to  do  so  meets  with  insuperable 
difficulties  and  becomes  "confusion  worse  con- 
founded. ' '  When  we  say  then  that  the  behavior  of 
the  decerebrate  dog  may  be  intelligent,  all  that  is 
meant  is  that  the  animal  exhibits  behavior  identical 
with  that  which  in  the  normal  animal  we  would  em- 
pirically call  intelligent.  In  this  sense  unconscious 
processes  may  exhibit  intelligence.  It  was  from  this 
viewpoint,  I  think,  that  Foster  concluded:  "In 
short,  the  more  we  study  the  phenomena  exhibited 
by  animals  possessing  a  part  only  of  their  brain, 
the  closer  we  are  pushed  to  the  conclusion  that  no 
sharp  line  can  be  drawn  between  volition  and  lack 
of  volition,  or  between  the  possession  and  absence 
of  intelligence.  Between  the  muscle-nerve  prepara- 
tion at  one  limit,  and  our  conscious  willing  selves  at 
the  other,  there  is  a  continuous  gradation  without 
a  break;  we  cannot  fix  on  any  linear  barrier  in  the 
brain  or  in  the  general  nervous  system,  and  say 
'beyond  this  there  is  volition  and  intelligence,  but 
up  to  this  there  is  none. '  "  * 

It  has  already  been  pointed  out  (Lecture  V)  that, 
in  man,  complicated  actions  which  have  been  voli- 
tionally  and  perhaps  laboriously  acquired  may  be 
afterwards  involuntarily  and  unconsciously  per- 
formed.f  In  other  words,  after  intelligent  actions 

*  A  Text  Book  of  Physiology,  1893,  page  727. 

f  The  localization  of  the  processes  concerned  in  all  such  acquired 
automatic  behavior — whether  it  is  in  the  cortex  or  subcortical  cen- 
ters— is  an  unsolved  problem. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  243 

have  been  acquired  by  conscious  processes,  they  may 
be  performed  by  subconscious  processes  for  which 
there  is  no  conscious  awareness  and  probably  these 
may  be  either  coconscious  or  entirely  unconscious. 
There  is  no  sharp  dividing  line  between  the  activities 
of  the  unconscious,  coconscious,  and  conscious. 

When  we  descend  in  the  scale  of  animal  life  to  the 
insects  (bees,  ants,  etc.,)  we  observe  motor  activity 
of  a  highly  complex  character  of  a  kind  that  is 
termed  intelligent,  but  we  are  forced  to  conclude, 
from  various  considerations,  that  the  elements  of 
consciousness  have  dwindled  away  to  what  can  be 
nothing  more  than  mere  sensibility.  In  other  words 
consciousness  is  reduced  to  its  lowest  terms,  but 
behavior  and  the  neural  processes  are  maintained 
at  a  high  level  of  complexity.  Accordingly  there  is 
a  disproportion  between  the  complexity  of  the  mo- 
tor behavior  and  the  inferred  simplicity  of  con- 
sciousness, for  in  the  higher  animals  the  former 
would  be  correlated  with  complex  psychological 
processes.  If  this  be  so,  the  motor  activities  must  be 
determined  by  processes  which  are  mostly  uncon- 
scious. 

In  still  lower  forms  of  life  the  motor  activities  can 
be  referred  to  simple  tropisms,  and  thus  necessarily 
are  wholly  unconscious. 

Between  the  most  complex  unconscious  physio- 
logical processes  performed  by  the  nervous  system 
and  the  simpler  cerebral  processes  accompanied  by 
consciousness  there  is  not  as  wide  a  step  as  might 
seem  when  superficially  viewed.  The  physiological 


244  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

process  may,  as  we  have  seen,  manifest  itself  in 
acts  of  quite  as  intelligent  a  character  as  those  ex- 
hibited by  the  conscious  process,  and  indeed  more 
so ;  for  the  conscious  act  may  be  little  more  than  a 
limited  reflex.  On  the  other  hand  a  psychological 
process  may  be  so  elementary  that  it  contains  noth- 
ing of  awareness  of  self,  of  intelligence,  or  of  voli- 
tion in  the  true  sense — nothing  more,  perhaps,  than 
an  elementary  sensation  without  even  perception. 
But  it  may  be  said  that  the  presence  of  the  most 
rudimentary  state  of  consciousness  makes  all  the 
difference  and  renders  the  gulf  between  the  two 
impassable. 

We  are  not  called  upon  to  discuss  that  question 
here.  It  is  one  which  involves  the  ultimate  nature 
of  physical  processes.  A  distinction  should  be  made 
between  psychological  and  psychical,  these  not  being 
coextensive  and  always  interchangeable  terms. 
Psychological  pertains  to  the  empirical  data  of  con- 
sciousness, (thoughts,  ideas,  sensations,  etc.)  while 
psychical  pertains  to  the  inner  or  ultimate  nature 
of  these  data.  Though  the  data  as  given  in  con- 
sciousness are  psychical,  that  which  is  psychical  may 
not  be  solely  manifested  as  psychological  phenom- 
ena. It  may  be  manifested  as  physical  phenomena 
and  perhaps  be  identified  with  the  energy  of  the 
universe.  Hence  the  doctrine  of  panpsychism.  And 
so  it  may  be  that  in  its  ultimate  analysis  an  uncon- 
scious process  is  psychical  (monism)  although  not 
psychological  and  not  manifesting  itself  as  a  datum 
of  consciousness.  Certain  it  is  that,  objectively 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  245 

viewed,  there  is  nothing  to  distinguish  physiologi- 
cal from  psychological  intelligence.  If  the  extraor- 
dinary instinctive  habits  exhibited  by  insects,  such 
as  bees  and  ants  and  by  still  lower  forms  of  animal 
life,  can  rightly  be  interpreted  as,  in  large  part  at 
least,  manifestations  of  physiological  processes,  as 
is  quite  possible,  the  distinction  between  the  con- 
scious and  the  unconscious  in  respect  to  intelligence 
and  adaptability  to  environment  would  be  reduced 
to  one  only  of  degree.  That  some  of  the  lowest 
forms  of  life  are  endowed  with  consciousness,  in  any 
sense  in  which  the  word  has  psychological  meaning, 
seems  incredible,  though  they  manifest  instinctive 
intelligence  of  no  mean  order.  The  fact  probably  is, 
as  I  have  just  intimated,  that  those  processes  we 
call  physiological  and  those  we  call  psychological 
are  in  their  inner  nature  identical,  and  the  former 
are  quite  capable  of  functioning,  incredible  as  it 
may  seem,  in  a  fashion  that  we  are  accustomed  to 
believe  can  only  be  the  attribute  of  conscious  intelli- 
gence. This  does  not  mean,  of  course,  that  the  phy- 
siological intelligence  can  reach  the  same  degree  of 
perfection  as  that  reached  by  conscious  intelligence, 
though  conversely,  the  latter  may  be  of  a  lower 
order  than  physiological  intelligence.*  From  this 
point  of  view  we  are  logically  entitled  to  regard 

*  If  the  subconscious  processes  which  perform  a  mathematical  cal- 
culation and  other  problems,  which  logically  determine  the  symbolism 
of  a  dream,  etc.,  can  be  correctly  interpreted  as  unconscious,  they 
plainly  exhibit  a  higher  order  of  intelligence  than  any  conscious 
processes  in  lower  animals,  or  even  some  conscious  processes  of  man, 
like  brushing  away  a  fly. 


246  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

physiological  processes,  even  of  the  lower  nervous 
centers  and  even  though  they  are  not  acquired  but 
due  to  congenital  structural  and  functional  arrange- 
ment, as  phases  of  the  unconscious. 

Psycho-physical  parallelism  and  monism. — According  to 
the  doctrine  of  psycho-physical  parallelism  every 
mental  process  is  correlated  with  (accompanied  by) 
a  brain  process.  As  brain  processes  thus  viewed 
are  "unconscious"  (in  the  sense  of  not  having  the 
attribute  of  consciousness)  we  may  express  this  in 
other  terms  and  say:  every  "conscious"  process  is 
accompanied  by  an  "  unconscious ' '  process.  I  have 
no  intention  of  entering  here  into  the  question  of 
the  validity  of  the  doctrine  of  psycho-physical 
parallelism.  I  wish  merely  to  point  out  that  if 
parallelism  is  a  true  formulation  of  the  mind- 
brain  problem,  as  I  have  just  stated  it,  the  con- 
verse ought  to  hold  true,  namely,  that  every  brain 
process  of  a  certain  kind  involving  intelligence 
ought  to  be  correlated  with  consciousness.  But  if 
some  subconscious  processes  manifesting  what  is 
equivalent  to  thought,  reasoning,  judgment,  imagina- 
tion, volition,  etc.,  are  unconscious — as  seems  likely 
if  not  probable — then  this  converse  does  not  hold 
true.  This  has  some  bearing  on  the  validity  of  the 
doctrine ;  for  if  physical  processes  can  perform  sub- 
stantially the  same  function  as  conscious  intelli- 
gence it  is  difficult  to  reconcile  this  fact  with  what 
I  may  call  naive  psycho-physical  parallelism. 

It  is  reconcilable,  however,  with  psychic  monism. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  247 

According  to  this  doctrine  it  is  not  a  question  of 
parallelism  at  all.  There  is  only  one  process — the 
psychical.  The  physical  brain  process  is  only  an 
aspect  or  special  mode  of  apprehending  this  one. 
All  is  psychical  but  not  psychological.  That  which 
we  apprehend  in  the  form  of  the  unconscious  is 
really  psychical  and  hence  is  capable  of  performing 
the  same  kind  of  function  as  it  performs  when  it 
becomes  psychological.  It  is  not  at  all  certain  that 
unconscious  processes  may  not  comprise  an  intelli- 
gence possessing  faculties  identical  in  kind  with 
those  of  conscious  intelligence  and  indistinguisha- 
ble from  the  latter.  Subconscious  processes  may 
exhibit  perception,  cognition,  reason,  imagination, 
conation  (will),  feeling,  etc.,  and  it  is  possible  that 
some  of  these  processes  may  be  correctly  inter- 
preted as  unconscious.  At  any  rate,  from  the  point 
of  view  of  monism,  whether  the  real  psychical  proc- 
ess or,  probably  more  correctly,  how  much  of  it 
shall  emerge  as  a  psychological  state  of  conscious- 
ness depends  upon  intrinsic  conditions.  Though  we 
cannot  penetrate  within  them  it  is  quite  conceivable 
that  it  is  a  matter  of  complexity  of  synthesization 
and  cooperative  activity  of  psychical  energies.  This 
is  a  most  interesting  problem  closely  related  to 
that  of  awareness  and  self-consciousness. 

The  meanings  of  the  unconscious,  subconscious,  and  co- 
conscious — Though  the  term  "unconscious"  is  in 
general  use  it  has  so  many  connotations  derived 
from  its  various  meanings  in  metaphysics,  psychol- 


248  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ogy,  and  physiology  that  its  use  has  given  rise  to 
considerable  confusion  of  thought,  particularly,  I  am 
compelled  to  believe,  in  the  interpretation  of  specific 
psycho-physiological  phenomena.  Nevertheless,  it 
has  been  so  well  established  in  our  nomenclature  that 
we  could  not  replace  it  if  we  would.  Nor  is  it  wholly 
desirable  to  do  so.  It  is  a  good  and  useful  term, 
but  I  believe  that  with  each  advance  in  the  pre- 
cision of  our  knowledge  we  ought,  so  far  as  accumu- 
lative data  permit,  to  give  precision  to  the  concept 
for  which  it  stands.  Just  as  in  physical  science  we 
attempt  to  give  precision  to  our  concept  of  elec- 
tricity in  conformity  with  new  data  accumulated 
from  time  to  time,  so  our  psychological  concepts 
should  be  defined  and  limited  in  accordance  with 
the  advance  in  knowledge.  Some  do  not  like  to 
define  the  term,  not  being  quite  willing  to  commit 
themselves  unreservedly  to  the  complete  acceptance 
of  the  physiological  theory  of  memory  and  to  cut 
adrift  from  the  metaphysical  concept  of  a  sublimi- 
nal mind.  If  the  psycho-physiological  theory  of 
memory,  which  is  now  generally  accepted,  is  sound, 
we  have  one  meaning  of  the  unconscious  which  is 
a  very  definite  concept,  namely,  the  brain  residua, 
physiological  "dispositions"  or  neurograms  in 
which  the  experiences  of  life  are  conserved.  These 
terms  become,  therefore,  synonyms  for  the  uncon- 
scious. That,  under  certain  conditions,  the  passive 
neurograms  may,  under  stimulation,  become  active 
and  function  unconsciously  (i.  e.,  without  corre- 
sponding psychological  equivalents  being  introduced 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  249 

into  the  personal  consciousness),  need  not  invali- 
date the  concept.  We  are  then  dealing  with  an  un- 
conscious and  dynamic  process.  The  effects  of  such 
functioning  are  simply  the  manifestations  of  the 
unconscious  and  may  be  recognized  either  in  modi- 
fications of  the  stream  of  consciousness  or  in  bodily 
disturbances.  The  term  unconscious  is  an  appro- 
priate and  descriptive  term  to  characterize  that 
which  is  devoid  of  the  attributes  of  consciousness. 
This  use  of  the  term  has  been  sanctioned  by  com- 
mon usage. 

Unfortunately,  however,  the  term  has  been  also 
employed  to  characterize  another  and  distinct  class 
of  facts,  namely  Co-[or  Sub-] conscious  Ideas.  We 
shall  have  occasion  to  study  these  psychological 
phenomena  in  other  lectures.*  "We  have  seen  ex- 
amples in  many  of  the  phenomena  I  have  cited.  It 
is  sufficient  to  say  here,  that  as  conceived  of,  and  as 
we  have  seen,  they  are  very  definite  states  of  cocon- 
sciousness — a  coexisting  dissociated  consciousness 
or  coconsciousness  of  which  the  personal  conscious- 
ness is  not  aware,  i.  e.,  of  which  it  is  "unconscious." 
Hence  they  have  been  called  "unconscious  ideas" 
and  have  been  included  in  the  unconscious,  particu- 
larly by  German  writers.  But  this  is  plainly  using 
the  term  in  a  different  sense — using  it  as  a  synonym 
for  the  longer  phrase,  "ideas  we  are  unaware  of," 
and  not  as  a  characterization  of  that  which  is  physi- 
ological and  non-psychological. 

"Unconscious  ideas"  in  this  sense  (the  equiva- 

*  Not  included  in  this  volume. 


250  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

lent  of  coconscious  ideas)  would  include  conscious 
states  that  we  are  not  aware  of  simply  because  not 
in  the  focus  of  attention  but  in  the  fringe  of  the 
content  of  consciousness.  The  term  would  also  in- 
clude pathologically  split-off  and  independently  act- 
ing coconscious  ideas  or  systems  of  ideas  such  as 
occur  in  hysteria,  reaching  their  apogee  in  cocon- 
scious personalities  and  in  automatic  writings. 
Here  we  have  a  series  of  facts  essentially  different 
from  the  conceptual  facts  of  physical  residua,  the 
form  in  which  experiences  are  conceived  to  be  con- 
served. Manifestly  it  is  confusing  and  incorrect  to 
define  both  by  ''the  unconscious."  And  to  speak 
of  the  former  as  "unconscious  ideas"  and  of  the 
latter  as  "unconscious,"  although  technically  cor- 
rect, leads  to  confusion  from  using  the  term  "un- 
conscious" in  two  different  senses.* 

As  a  concept  in  a  scheme  of  metaphysics,  "un- 
conscious ideas" — i.  e.,  ideas  of  which  we  are  not 
conscious,  have  long  been  recognized.  Leibnitz  was 
the  first  to  maintain,  on  theoretical  grounds  and  by 
a  priori  reasoning,  the  existence  of  ideas  of  which  we 
are  not  aware,  as  did  likewise  Kant,  influenced  by 
Leibnitz,  and  later  Schilling,  and  Herbart;  while 
Hartmann  evolved  the  unconscious  into  a  biological 
and  metaphysical  system.f 

*  It  has  been  objected  that  to  speak  of  unconscious  ideas  is  a 
contradiction  of  terms.  This  seems  to  me  to  smack  of  quibbling  as 
we  know  well  enough  that  the  adjective  is  used  in  the  sense  of  un- 
awareness. 

f  For  a  good  account  of  the  history  of  the  theory  of  unconscious 
ideas  in  philosophy  see  Hartmann 's  "Philosophy  of  the  Uncon- 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  251 

By  most  American,  English,  and  French  psychol- 
ogists such  ideas,  as  conceived  at  least  by  Leibnitz, 
Kant,  and  Herbart,  would  to-day  be  called  sub- 
conscious or  coconscious  ideas.  Hartmann  included 
all  physiological  processes  of  the  nervous  system 
in  the  Unconscious  and  ascribed  to  them  special 
attributes  (will,  purpose,  etc.).  The  Unconscious 
accordingly  has  connotations  from  which  it  is  not 
easy  to  rid  ourselves  in  dealing  with  it.  It  is  gen- 
erally agreed  that  it  is  desirable  to  have  a  term 
which  shall  cover  all  classes  of  facts — coconscious 
ideas,  conserved  experiences,  and  physiological  proc- 

scious, "  where  the  following  quotations  may  be  found:  "To  have 
ideas  and  yet  not  to  be  conscious  of  them — there  seems  to  be  a  con- 
tradiction in  that — for  how  can  we  know  that  we  have  them  if  we 
are  not  conscious  of  them?  Nevertheless,  we  may  become  aware  in- 
directly that  we  have  an  idea,  although  we  be  not  directly  cognizant 
of  the  same."  (Kant,  Anthropology,  sec.  5.)  And  again:  "In- 
numerable are  the  sensations  and  perceptions  whereof  we  are  not 
conscious  although  we  must  undoubtedly  conclude  that  we  have 
them,  obscure  ideas  as  they  may  be  called  (to  be  found  in  animals 
as  well  as  in  man).  The  clear  ideas,  indeed,  are  but  an  infinitely 
small  fraction  of  these  same  exposed  to  consciousness.  That  only  a 
few  spots  on  the  great  chart  of  our  minds  are  illuminated  may  well 
fill  us  with  amazement  in  contemplating  this  nature  of  ours.  (Ibid.) 

"Now  unconscious  ideas"  are  such  "as  are  in  consciousness 
without  our  being  aware  of  them"  (Herbart). 

It  is  interesting  to  notice  how  Kant's  statement  might  well  be 
substituted  for  that  of  Myers'  of  his  "Subliminal."  It  is  difficult 
to  understand  the  peculiar  antagonistic  attitude  of  certain  theoreti- 
cal psychologists  to  the  theory  of  subconscious  (coconscious)  ideas 
in  view  of  the  history  of  this  theory  in  philosophy.  They  seem  to 
have  forgotten  their  philosophy  and  not  to  have  kept  pace  with  ex- 
perimental psychology. 


252  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

esses without  committal  of  opinion  as  to  inter- 
pretation.* 

It  does  not  follow,  however,  that  the  term  ''un- 
conscious" is  the  one  that  should  be  chosen.  On 
the  contrary,  as  unconscious  has  two  distinct  and 
different  meanings  (that  pertaining  to  unawareness 
and  that  which  is  non-psychological)  it  is  a  very 
undesirable  term  if  we  wish  to  be  precise  in  our 
terminology.  That  we  should  have  a  term  which  shall 
precisely  define  ideas  which  are  not  in  awareness  and 
which  shall  distinguish  them  from  physiological 
processes  is  necessitated  by  the  fact  that  such  ideas 
in  themselves  form  a  distinct  field  of  investigation. 

The  term  "subconscious"  is  commonly  used,  ex- 
cepting by  German  writers,  to  characterize  these  co- 
conscious  ideas.  In  fact,  by  some  French  medical 
writers,  particularly  Janet,  it  is  very  precisely 
limited  to  such  ideas.  By  other  authors  it  is  em- 
ployed in  this  sense  and  also  to  include  the  physical 
residua  of  experiences,  and  sometimes  with  the  addi- 
tional meaning  of  unconscious  physiological  neuro- 
grams,  or  processes,  which  it  defines — in  fact,  to 
denote  any  conserved  experience  or  process  outside 
of  consciousness.  On  the  other  hand,  among  these 
authors,  some  do  not  admit  the  validity  of  the  con- 
cept of  coconscious  ideas,  but  interpret  all  so-called 
subconscious  manifestations  as  the  expression  of 
the  physiological  functioning  of  physiological  neu- 
rograms  in  which  the  experiences  of  life  are  con- 
served. Subconscious  and  unconscious  are,  there- 

*  See  footnote  on  p.  149. 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS 


253 


fore,  quite  commonly,  but  not  always,  employed  as 
synonyms  to  define  two  or  three  different  classes 
of  facts.  For  practical  reasons,  as  already  stated, 
it  is  desirable  to  have  a  term  which  shall  embrace 
all  classes  of  facts,  and  of  the  two  terms  in  com- 
mon use,  subconscious  and  unconscious,  the  former 
is  preferable,  as  it  is  not  subject  to  the  double  mean- 
ing above  mentioned.  I,  therefore,  use  the  term 
subconscious  in  a  generic  sense  to  include  (a)  cocon- 
scious  ideas  or  processes;  (b)  unconscious  neuro- 
grams,  and  (c)  unconscious  processes.  Of  course  it 
is  only  a  matter  of  terminology.  The  conceptual 
facts  may  then  be  thus  classified: 

f  (synonym: 

The  coconscious  J  subconscious 
ideas.) 

a :  Conserved 
dormant 
neurograms 
or  neural 
dispositions. 


The  subconscious  H 


The  unconscious  •< 


b:   Active 
functioning 
neurograms 
or     neural 
processes, 
(synonym: 
unconscious 
processes.) 


254  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Subconscious  as  an  adjective  used  to  qualify  ideas 
is  plainly  equivalent  to  coconscious  ideas.  This 
terminology  I  have  found  useful  in  keeping  the  dif- 
ferent classes  of  conceptual  facts  separate  in  my 
mind  and  I  believe  it  will  prove  to  be  equally  useful 
to  others.  With  the  conceptual  facts  clearly  differ- 
entiated it  will  be  generally  easy  to  recognize  the 
various  senses  in  which  the  terms  are  used  when 
found  in  the  writings  of  others. 

The  unconscious  as  a  fundamental  of  personality. — A 
survey  of  all  the  facts  and  their  relations,  which  I 
have  outlined  in  the  preceding  lectures,  brings  into 
strong  relief  the  important  principle  that  no  matter 
in  what  state  complexes  of  ideas  are  formed,  so 
long  as  they  are  conserved,  they  become  a  part  of 
our  personality.  They  become  dormant,  but,  being 
conserved,  they  may  under  favorable  conditions  be 
awakened  and  enter  our  conscious  life.  It  matters 
not  whether  complexes  of  ideas  have  been  formed  in 
our  personal  consciousness,  or  in  a  state  of  hypno- 
sis, in  dreams,  in  conditions  of  dissociated  person- 
ality, in  coconsciousness,  or  any  other  dissociated 
state.  They  all  become  parts  of  ourselves  and  may 
afterwards  be  revived  under  favoring  conditions, 
whether  volitionally,  automatically,  by  artificial  de- 
vices, by  involuntary  stimuli,  or  other  agencies. 
They  may  or  may  not  be  subject  to  voluntary  recall 
as  recollections,  but,  so  long  as  they  form  part  of 
our  dormant  consciousness  as  physiological  neuro- 
grams,  they  belong  to  the  personal  self.  "  After 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  255 

all, ' '  as  Miss  B.  used  to  say,  and  correctly,  referring 
to  her  different  dissociated  personalities,  BI,  B 
III,  and  BIV,  "after  all,  they  are  all  myself."  It 
makes  no  difference  in  what  state  an  experience  has 
occurred.  A  potential  memory  of  it  may  persist  and 
may,  in  one  way  or  another,  be  revived,  no  matter 
how  or  when  it  originated. 

Through  the  conception  of  the  swfcconscious  as 
resolvable,  on  the  one  hand,  into  the  wwconscious, 
passive  or  active  physiological  dispositions,  and,  on 
the  other  hand,  into  coactive  conscious  states,  the 
subconscious  becomes  simplified  and  intelligible.  It 
offers  a  basis  on  which  may  be  constructed  compre- 
hensible theories  of  memory,  suggestibility,  post- 
hypnotic  phenomena,  dreams,  automatic  writing 
and  similar  phenomena,  artificial  hallucinations,  the 
protean  phenomena  of  hysteria,  and  the  psycho- 
neuroses,  as  well  as  the  mechanism  of  thought.  It 
enables  us  also  to  construct  a  rational  concept  of 
personality  and  self.  As  we  shall  see,  when  we  take 
up  the  study  of  multiple  personality  in  later  lectures, 
out  of  the  aggregate  of  the  accumulated  and  varied 
experience  of  the  past  conserved  in  the  unconscious 
may  be  constructed  a  number  of  different  person- 
alities, each  depending  upon  a  synthesis  and  rear- 
rangement of  life's  neurograms  and  innate  disposi- 
tions and  instincts.  All  dormant  ideas  with  their 
feeling  tones  and  conative  tendencies  belong  to  our 
personality,  but  they  may  be  arranged  with  varying 
instincts  and  innate  dispositions  into  a  number  of 
differentiated  systems,  each  synthesized  into  a  cor- 


256  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

responding  personality.  In  the  unconscious  may 
be  conserved  a  vast  number  of  life's  experiences 
ranging  in  time  almost  from  the  cradle  to  the  grave. 
The  hopes,  the  wishes,  the  anxieties  of  childhood 
may  still  be  there,  lying  fallow,  but  capable  of  in- 
jecting themselves  under  favoring  conditions  into 
our  personalities.  Properly  speaking,  from  this 
point  of  view,  aside  from  certain  artificial  and  path- 
ological conditions,  there  is,  normally,  no  distinct 
"subconscious  self,"  or  "subliminal  self,"  or  "sec- 
ondary self,"  or  "hidden  self."  In  artificial  and 
pathological  conditions  there  may  be,  as  has  been 
frequently  shown,  a  splitting  of  consciousness  and 
the  aggregation  into  a  secondary  coconscious  sys- 
tem of  large  systems  of  ideas  which  have  all  the 
characteristics  of  personality.  This  secondary  per- 
sonality (of  which  the  primary  personality  is  not 
aware)  may  have  its  own  memories,  feelings,  per- 
ceptions, and  thoughts.  It  may  appropriate  to  itself 
various  complexes  of  neurograms  deposited  by  the 
experiences  of  life  which  are  not  at  the  disposal  of 
the  principal  personality.  Such  a  coconscious  sys- 
tem may  properly  be  spoken  of  as  a  subconscious 
self.  But  there  is  no  evidence  that,  normally,  such 
systems  exist.  All  that  we  are  entitled  to  affirm 
is  that  every  individual's  consciousness  may  include 
ideas  of  which  he  is  not  aware,  and  that  he  has  at 
his  disposal,  to  a  greater  or  less  extent,  a  large 
unconscious  storehouse  in  which  are  neurographi- 
cally  conserved  a  large  and  varied  mass  of  life's 
experiences.  These  experiences  may  be  arranged 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  257 

in  systems,  as  we  shall  see  in  the  next  lecture,  but 
they  do  not  constitute  a  "self."  To  speak  of 
them  as  a  subconscious,  subliminal,  secondary,  or 
hidden  self  is  to  construct  concepts  which  are 
allegories,  metaphors,  symbolisms,  personifications 
of  concrete  phenomena.  Their  use  tends  to  falla- 
cious reasoning  and  to  perverted  inductions  from 
the  ^cts.  Becoming  major  premises  in  a  syllo- 
gisi^lhey  lead  to  erroneous  interpretations  of  the 
simplest  facts,  just  as  fixed  ideas  or  obsessions 
tend  to  a  perverted  interpretation  of  the  environ- 
ment. 

We  are  now  in  a  position  to  see  that  the  psycho- 
physiological  theory  of  memory  has  a  far-reaching 
significance.  The  facts  which  have  been  brought 
before  you  in  evidence  of  the  theory  have  been 
selected  largely  from  those  which  were  capable  of 
verification  by  experimentation  and  by  other  objec- 
tive testimony.  They  include  a  large  variety  of  ex- 
periences which  occurred  in  pathological  conditions 
like  amnesia  and  multiple  personality,  and  in  arti- 
ficial conditions  like  hypnosis  and  intoxication. 
Such  abnormal  conditions  enable  us  to  show  by  tes- 
timony, independent  of  the  individual,  that  these 
experiences  had  actually  occurred,  and,  therefore, 
to  show  that  the  reproductions  of  these  experiences 
were  in  principle  truthful  memories.  They  also 
enable  us  to  appreciate  the  enormous  variety  and 
quantity  of  experiences  which,  although  absolutely 
beyond  the  power  of  voluntary  recall,  may  be  con- 
served nevertheless  as  neurograms,  and  also  to  ap- 


258  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

predate  the  minuteness  of  detail  in  which  the  brain 
records  may  be  preserved. 

If  you  will  stop  a  moment  to  think,  and  give  play 
to  your  imagination,  you  will  see  that  the  principle 
of  the  neurographic  conservation  of  experiences 
must  be  true  not  only  of  our  outer  life,  of  our  ex- 
periences with  our  environment,  but  of  our  whole 
inner  life,  normal  as  well  as  abnormal.  It  is  always 
possible  that  any  thought,  any  feeling,  however 
trivial  and  transitory,  may  leave  neurograms  in  the 
brain.  It  is  always  possible  that  even  a  fleeting 
doubt  or  scruple,  thoughts  which  flash  into  the  mind 
and  straightway  are  put  out  again,  all  may  leave 
their  records  and  dispositions  to  function  again. 
Even  a  passing  doubt  which  any  of  you  may  enter- 
tain regarding  the  interpretation  of  the  phenomena 
I  have  described,  and  the  correctness  of  our  con- 
clusions, may  be  recorded.  Indeed,  it  is  a  matter 
of  some  importance  for  the  understanding  of  ob- 
normal  mental  conditions  that  many  of  those  horrid 
little  sneaking  thoughts  which  we  do  not  like  to 
admit  to  ourselves,  the  thoughts  which  for  one  rea- 
son or  another  we  endeavor  to  repress,  to  put  out  of 
our  minds,  may  leave  their  indelible  traces.  In  fact, 
these  are  the  very  thoughts,  the  ones  which  we  try 
hardest  to  forget,  to  push  aside,  which  are  most 
likely  to  be  conserved.  The  harder  we  try,  the 
stronger  the  feelings  attached  to  them,  the  more 
likely  they  are  to  leave  neurograms  in  the  brain 
though  they  may  never  be  reproduced.  This  has 
been  shown  by  observation  of  pathological  condi- 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  259 

tions,  like  hysteria  and  psychasthenia,  and  by  ex- 
perimentation. In  repressing  our  thoughts  we  do 
not  put  them  out  of  our  minds,  but,  as  the  subject 
previously  cited,  who  in  hypnosis  could  recall  such 
repressed  thoughts,  said,  we  put  them  into  our  minds. 
In  other  words,  we  conserve  them  as  neurograms. 
In  one  sense,  I  suppose,  we  may  say  that  every 
one  leads  a  double  life.  Let  me  hasten  to  say  to 
you,  I  mean  this  not  in  a  moral  but  in  an  intellectual 
sense.  Every  one's  mental  life  may  fairly  be  said 
to  be  divided  between  those  ideas,  thoughts,  and 
feelings  which  he  receives  from  and  gives  out  to 
his  social  world,  the  social  environment  in  which  he 
lives,  and  those  which  belong  more  properly  to  his 
inner  life  and  the  innermost  sanctuary  of  his  per- 
sonality and  character.  The  former  include  the 
activities  and  the  educational  acquisitions  which  he 
seeks  to  cultivate  and  conserve  for  future  use.  The 
latter  include  the  more  intimate  communings  with 
himself,  the  doubts  and  fears  and  scruples  pertain- 
ing to  the  moral,  religious,  and  other  problems  of 
life,  and  the  struggles  and  trials  and  difficulties 
which  beset  its  paths ;  the  internal  contests  with  the 
temptations  of  the  world,  the  flesh,  and  the  devil. 
The  conventionalities  of  the  social  organization  re- 
quire that  the  outward  expression  of  many  of  these 
should  be  put  under  restraint.  Indeed,  society  in- 
sists that  some,  the  sexual  strivings,  are  aspects  of 
life  and  human  nature  which  are  not  to  be  spoken 
or  thought  of.  Now,  of  course,  this  inner  life  must 
also  leave  its  neurographic  tracings  along  with  the 


260  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

outer  life,  and  must,  potentially  at  least,  become  a 
part  of  our  personality,  liable  to  manifest  itself  in 
character  and  in  other  directions.  But,  more  than 
this,  abnormal  psychology,  through  its  technical 
methods  of  investigation  and  through  the  perverted 
manifestations  exhibited  in  sick  conditions  of  mind 
and  body,  has  shown  us  that  the  neurograms  de- 
posited as  the  experiences  of  this  inner  life  may 
flower,  to  use  an  expression  of  the  lamented  William 
James,  below  the  threshold  of  consciousness,  and, 
under  certain  conditions,  where  the  mind  is  in  un- 
stable equilibrium,  burst  forth  in  mental  and  bodily 
manifestations  of  an  unusual  character.  Thus  in 
processes  of  this  kind  we  find  an  explanation  of 
religious  phenomena  like  sudden  conversion;  of 
dreams  and  of  certain  pathological  phenomena  like 
the  hallucinations,  deliria,  crises,  and  bodily  mani- 
festations of  hysteria,  and  the  numerous  automatic 
phenomena  of  spiritualistic  mediums.  Such  phe- 
nomena may  then  be  interpreted  as  the  flowering  or 
functioning  of  the  unconscious. 

The  essential  difference  in  the  consequences  which 
follow  from  this  psycho-physiological  conception  of 
memory,  based  as  it  is  on  the  unconscious,  and  those 
which  follow  from  that  conception  which  is  popu- 
larly held  must  be  obvious.  According  to  popular 
understanding  the  mental  life  which  we  have  out- 
lived, the  life  which  we  have  put  behind  us,  whether 
that  of  childhood  or  of  passing  phases  of  adult  life, 
is  only  an  ephemeral,  evanescent  phase  of  conscious- 
ness which  once  out  of  mind,  put  aside  or  forgotten, 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  261 

need  no  longer  be  taken  into  consideration  as  per- 
taining to,  much  less  influencing,  our  personality. 
Writers  of  fiction  who  undertake  to  depict  human 
nature  almost  invariably,  I  believe,  are  governed  by 
this  point  of  view.  They  describe  their  characters 
as  throwing  overboard  their  past,  their  dominating 
beliefs,  convictions,  and  other  traits  as  easily  as 
we  should  toss  undesirable  refuse  into  the  ocean. 
Their  heroes  and  heroines  jettison  their  psychologi- 
cal cargoes 'as  if  they  were  barrels  of  molasses  when- 
ever their  personalities  show  signs  of  going  down 
in  the  storms  of  life's  experiences.  According  to 
this  view,  which  is  derived  from  an  imperfect  con- 
ception of  mental  processes,  any  passing  phase  of 
consciousness  ceases  to  have  potential  existence  or 
influence  as  soon  as  it  is  forgotten,  or  as  soon  as 
it  ceases  to  be  a  consciously  dominating  belief  or 
motive  of  life.  It  is  assumed  that  so  long  as  we 
do  not  bring  it  back  into  consciousness  it  belongs 
to  us  no  more  than  as  if  it  had  originated  in  the 
mind  of  another,  or  had  taken  flight  on  the  wings 
of  a  dove.  This  is  true  in  part  only.  A  phase  of 
consciousness  may  not  be  conserved,  or  it  may  be- 
come so  modified  by  the  clash  with  new  experiences 
that  a  rearrangement  of  its  elements  takes  place  and 
it  becomes,  for  instance,  a  new  motive  or  belief,  or 
a  new  setting  to  give  a  new  meaning  to  an  idea.  On 
the  other  hand,  any  passing  phase  may,  as  we  have 
seen,  still  belong  to  our  personality  even  though  it 
lies  hidden  in  its  depths.  That  we  no  longer  recall 
it,  bring  it  voluntarily  into  the  field  of  our  personal 


TUfcJ    UJNUOJNSCIOUS 

consciousness,  does  not  negative  its  continuing 
(though  dormant)  existence,  and  its  further  influ- 
ence upon  the  personality  through  the  subconscious 
workings  of  the  mind. 

In  conclusion,  and  by  way  of  partial  recapitula- 
tion, we  may  say,  first:  The  records  of  our  lives 
are  written  in  unconscious  dormant  complexes  and 
therein  conserved  so  long  as  the  residua  retain  their 
dynamic  potentialities.  It  is  the  unconscious,  rather 
than  the  conscious,  which  is  the  important  factor 
in  personality  and  intelligence.  The  unconscious 
furnishes  the  formative  material  out  of  which  our 
judgments,  our  beliefs,  our  ideals,  and  our  char- 
acters are  shaped. 

In  the  second  place,  the  unconscious,  besides  being 
a  static  storehouse,  has  dynamic  functions.  It  is 
evident  that,  theoretically,  if  unconscious  complexes 
are  once  formed  they  may,  under  favoring  condi- 
tions of  the  psycho-physical  organism,  become  re- 
vived and  play  an  important  part  in  pathological 
mental  life.  If  through  dissociation  they  could  be 
freed  from  the  normal  inhibition  and  the  counter- 
balancing influences  of  the  normal  mental  mechan- 
ism, and  given  an  independence  and  freedom  from 
voluntary  control,  they  might,  by  functioning,  pro- 
duce abnormal  states  like  fixed  ideas,  delusions,  au- 
tomatisms, hallucinations,  etc.  A  study  of  such  ab- 
normal phenomena  confirms  this  theoretical  view 
and  finds  in  this  conception  of  the  unconscious  an 
explanation  of  the  origin  of  many  of  them.  The 
hallucinations  and  bizarre  notions  and  delusions  of 


THE   UNCONSCIOUS  263 

the  insane,  the  hysteric,  and  psychasthenic,  where 
all  seems  chaos,  without  law  or  order,  are  often  due 
to  the  resurrection  and  fabricating  effect  of  uncon- 
scious complexes  formed  by  the  earlier  experiences 
of  the  patient's  life.  Of  course,  the  mechanism  by 
which  such  phenomena  are  produced  is  a  compli- 
cated one  about  which  there  is  much  difference  of 
opinion  and  which  we  cannot  enter  into  here.  In 
post-hypnotic  phenomena  and  artificial  hallucina- 
tions we  have  experimental  examples  of  the 
principle. 

More  than  this,  and  more  important,  there  is  con- 
siderable evidence  going  to  show  that  conserved  ex- 
periences functioning  as  subconscious  processes  take 
part  in  and  determine  the  conscious  processes  of 
everyday  life.  On  the  one  hand  stored  neurograms 
may  undergo  subconscious  incubation,  assimilating 
the  material  deposited  by  the  varied  experiences  of 
life  to  finally  burst  forth  in  ripened  judgments,  be- 
liefs, and  convictions,  as  is  so  strikingly  shown  in 
sudden  religious  conversions  and  allied  mental 
manifestations.  Through  a  similar  incubating  proc- 
ess, the  stored  material  needed  for  the  solution 
of  baffling  problems  is  gathered  together  and  often- 
times assimilated  and  arranged  and  formulated  as 
an  answer  to  the  question.  On  the  other  hand,  sub- 
conscious processes  may  be  but  a  hidden  part  of 
that  mechanism  which  determines  our  everyday 
judgment  and  our  points  of  view,  our  attitudes  of 
mind,  the  meanings  of  our  ideas,  and  the  traits  of 
our  characters.  Antecedent  experiences  function- 


264  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ing  as  such  processes  may  determine  our  fantasies 
and  our  dreams.  Thus  functioning  as  dynamic  proc- 
esses the  stored  residua  of  the  past  may  provide 
the  secrets  of  our  moods,  our  impulses,  our  preju- 
dices, our  beliefs,  and  our  judgments. 

It  remains,  however,  for  future  investigation  to 
determine  the  exact  mechanism  and  the  relative  ex- 
tent to  which  subconscious  processes  play  their 
parts. 


LECTURE   IX 
THE    ORGANIZATION    OF    UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES 

Everyday  life — It  will  be  well  at  this  point  to  state 
in  orderly  fashion  a  few  general  principles  govern- 
ing the  organization  of  complexes  or  syntheses  of 
ideas  *  which,  as  we  shall  see,  play  an  important 
part  in  normal  and  abnormal  life.  Although  this 
statement  will  be  little  more  than  descriptive  of 
what  is  common  experience  it  will  be  helpful  in  clas- 
sifying and  obtaining  a  useful  perspective  of  the 
phenomena  with  which  we  shall  deal. 

Now,  as  every  one  knows,  the  elemental  ideas 
which  make  up  the  experience  of  any  given  moment 
tend  to  become  organized  (i.  e.,  synthesized  and  con- 
served) into  a  system  or  complex  of  ideas,  linked 
with  emotions,  feelings  and  other  innate  disposi- 
tions, so  that  when  one  of  the  ideas  belonging  to  the 
experience  comes  to  mind  the  experience  as  a  whole 
is  recalled.  We  may  conveniently  term  such  a  sys- 
tem when  in  a  state  of  conservation,  an  unconscious 

*  I  am  using  this  word  in  the  general  sense  of  any  mental  ex- 
perience as  in  the  common  phrase,  "the  association  of  ideas,"  and 
not  in  the  restricted  sense  of  Titchener  as  the  equivalent  of  a  percep- 
tion. 

265 


266  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

complex  *  or  neurogram,  or  system  of  neurograms. 
If  we  wish  to  use  psychological  terms  we  may  speak 
of  it  as  a  complex  or  synthesis  of  dormant  ideas. 
Although  we  may  formulate  this  principle  as  the 
"association  of  ideas"  the  formula  can  have  only  a 
descriptive  significance  pertaining  to  a  relation  in 
time  (and  not  a  causal  one)  unless  there  be  included 
an  unconscious  factor  by  which  the  association  be- 
comes effective  in  exciting  one  idea  through  another 
— i.  e.,  through  a  linking  of  neural  dispositions.  We 
cannot  conceive  of  any  conscious  relation  between 
ideas  that  can  possibly  induce  this  effect.  It  must 
be  some  unconscious  dynamic  relation  f  and  be  ex- 
plained in  terms  of  neural  dispositions.  If  this  be 
so,  all  ideas  are  dynamically  associated  and  related 
in  a  process  which  does  not  appear  in  consciousness 
and  which  is  essential  for  organization  into  a  com- 
plex. Every  system  of  associated  ideas,  therefore, 
implies  conservation  through  an  organized  uncon- 
scious complex. 

Complexes  may  be  very  feebly  organized  in  that 
the  elemental  ideas  are  weakly  conserved  or  weakly 
associated ;  in  which  case  when  we  try  to  recall  the 
original  experience  only  a  part  or  none  of  it  is  re- 
called. 

On  the  other  hand,  a  complex  may  be  strongly 

*  I  use  this  word  ' '  complex ' '  in  the  general  sense  in  which  it  is 
commonly  used  and  not  with  the  specific  meaning  given  to  it  by  the 
Zurich  school,  which  limits  it  to  a  system  of  ideas  to  which  a  strong 
affective  tone  is  attached  and  which,  because  of  its  personally  dis- 
tressing character,  is  repressed  into  the  subconscious. 

•j-  Which  may  be  psychical,  although  not  psychological. 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  267 

organized  and  include  a  large  number  of  de- 
tails of  an  experience.  This  is  usually  owing  to 
the  fact  that  the  original  experience  was  accom- 
panied by  strong  emotional  tones,  or  by  marked  in- 
terest and  attention,  or  was  frequently  repeated. 

Emotional  Complexes:  1.  When  the  original  experi- 
ence was  accompanied  by  an  emotion  it  may  be 
regarded  as  having  excited  one  or  more  of  the  emo- 
tional instincts  of  anger,  fear,  disgust,  etc.  The  ex- 
citation of  the  instinct  or  instincts  is  in  one  sense  a 
reaction  to  the  ideas  of  the  experience.  The  instincts 
then  become  organized  about  one  or  more  of  the 
ideas  to  form  a  sentiment  (Shand)  and  the  whole 
is  incorporated  in  a  complex  which  then  acquires  an 
affective  character.  The  impulsive  force  of  the  in- 
stinct thereafter  largely  determines  the  behavior  of 
the  complex.  (To  this  we  shall  return  later  when 
we  consider  the  instincts.)  General  observation 
shows  that  emotional  experiences  are  more  likely  to 
be  conserved  and  also  voluntarily  recalled.  Given 
such  an  emotional  complex  nearly  anything  asso- 
ciated with  some  detail  of  the  experience  may,  by 
the  law  of  association,  automatically  or  involun- 
tarily revive  it,  or  the  emotional  reaction  with  a 
greater  or  less  number  of  its  associated  memories. 
This  tendency  seems  to  be  directly  proportionate  to 
the  intensity  of  the  instinct  (fear,  anger,  etc.)  incor- 
porated in  the  complex.  Sometimes,  it  is  true,  a 
strongly  emotional  experience,  even  an  experience 
of  great  moment  in  an  individual's  life,  is  completely 


268  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

forgotten,  so  completely  that  no  associated  idea 
avails  as  a  stimulus  to  awaken  it.  Usually  in  all 
such  cases  the  neurograms  are  isolated,  etc.,  by  dis- 
sociation. They  still,  however,  may  be  strongly  or- 
ganized and  conserved  as  an  unconscious  complex 
and  sometimes  may  be  excited  as  a  subconscious 
process  by  an  associated  stimulus.  In  such  condi- 
tions it  very  frequently  is  found  that  the  dissocia- 
tion is  due  to  conflict  between  the  emotion  belonging 
to  the  complex  and  another  emotional  complex.  The 
impulsive  force  of  the  latter  dissociates  the  former 
complex  which  then  cannot  be  voluntarily  repro- 
duced as  memory,  nor  awakened  by  any  association 
under  normal  conditions.  We  have  then  a  condition 
of  amnesia  and  often  an  hysterical  condition.  To 
this  important  phenomenon  we  shall  return  when 
we  consider  the  emotions.  Passing  over  these  ex- 
ceptional conditions  of  conflicting  emotions  (which 
being  explained  "prove  the  rule"),  it  still  remains 
true  that  in  everyday  life  emotional  experiences  are 
not  only  more  likely  to  be  conserved  but  to  be  sub- 
ject to  voluntary  recall,  or  awakened  involuntarily 
by  an  associated  stimulus. 

If,  for  instance,  we  have  experienced  a  railroad 
accident  involving  exciting  incidents,  loss  of  life, 
etc.,  the  words  '  *  railroad, "  "  accident, "  '  *  death, ' '  or 
a  sudden  crashing  sound,  or  the  sight  of  blood,  or 
even  riding  in  a  railroad  train  may  recall  the  ex- 
perience, or  at  least  the  prominent  features  in  it. 
The  earlier  events  and  those  succeeding  the  accident 
may  have  passed  out  of  all  possibility  of  voluntary 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  269 

recall.  To  take  an  instance  commonplace  enough,  but 
which  happens  to  have  come  within  my  recent  obser- 
vation: a  fireman,  hurrying  to  a  fire,  was  injured 
severely  by  being  thrown  from  a  hose-wagon  against 
a  telegraph-pole  with  which  the  wagon  collided.  He 
narrowly  escaped  death.  Although  three  years  have 
elapsed  he  still  cannot  ride  on  a  wagon  to  a  fire 
without  the  memory  of  substantially  the  whole  acci- 
dent rising  in  his  mind.  When  he  does  so  he  again 
lives  through  the  accident,  including  the  thoughts 
just  previous  to  the  actual  collision  when  realizing 
his  situation  he  was  overcome  with  terror,  and  he 
again  manifests  all  the  organic  physical  expressions 
of  fear,  viz.,  perspiration,  tremor,  and  muscular 
weakness.  Here  is  a  well  organized  and  fairly 
limited  complex.  It  is  also  plainly  an  imperative 
memory,  that  is  to  say,  any  stimulus-idea  associated 
with  some  element  in  the  complex  reproduces  the 
experience  as  memory  whether  it  is  wished  or  not. 
Try  as  hard  as  he  will  he  cannot  prevent  its  recur- 
rence. The  stimulus  that  excites  such  involuntary 
memories  may  be  a  spoken  word  (as  in  the  psycho- 
galvanic  and  other  associative  experiments  which 
we  shall  consider  in  a  later  lecture),  or  it  may  be  a 
visual  perception  of  the  environment — of  a  person 
or  place — or  it  may  be  a  repetition  of  the  circum- 
stances attending  the  original  experience,  however 
induced.  The  phenomenon  may  also  be  regarded  as 
an  automatism  or  automatic  process.  As  the  biologi- 
cal instinct  of  fear  is  incorporated  in  the  complex 
it  is  also  a  phobia. 


270  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Why  our  fireman  suffered  the  intense  terror  that 
he  did  at  the  time  of  the  accident,  why  he  experi- 
enced the  thoughts  which  surged  into  his  mind,  why 
he  suffered  this  emotional  experience,  while  another 
man  going  through  the  same  accident  suffers  no 
more  than  the  physical  injury  (if  any)  at  the  time, 
and  why  the  experience  continues  to  recur  as  an 
imperative  memory  are  problems  which  we  are  not 
considering  now.  The  fact  is  that  he  did  suffer  the 
terror  and  its  agonizing  thoughts,  and,  this  being 
the  case,  their  constant  recurrence,  i.  e.,  the  repro- 
duction of  the  experience,  is  a  memory.  And  this 
memory  consists  of  a  well  organized  complex  of 
ideas,  feelings,  and  physiological  accompaniments. 
I  emphasize  this  point  because  an  imperatively  re- 
curring mental  experience  of  this  sort  is  a  psychosis, 
and,  so  far  as  the  principle  of  memory  enters  into  it, 
so  far  memory  becomes  a  part  of  the  mechanism  of 
obsessions. 

The  reason  why  the  man  at  the  moment  of  the 
accident  experienced  the  terrorizing  thoughts  that 
he  did,  and  why  he  continued  to  experience  them, 
must  be  sought  in  associated  conserved  experiences 
of  his  past.  These  experiences  were  the  psycho- 
genetic  factors.  It  would  take  us  too  far  out  of  the 
way  to  consider  this  problem,  which  belongs  to  the 
obsessions,  at  this  time,  but,  as  I  have  touched  upon 
it,  I  may  say  in  passing  that  the  accident  would  have 
awakened  no  sense  of  terror  and  no  emotional  shock 
if  a  psychological  torch  had  not  already  been  pre- 
pared. This  torch  was  made  up  of  ideas  previously 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  271 

imbibed  from  the  social  environment  and  made 
ready  to  be  set  aflame  by  the  match  set  to  it  by  the 
accident.  In  the  unconsciousness  of  this  man  were 
written  in  neurographic  records  the  dangers  attend- 
ing accidents  of  this  kind  and  dangers  which  still 
threatened  his  present  and  future. 

Likewise  the  insistence  of  the  memory  can  be  re- 
lated to  a  setting  of  associated  thoughts  which  gave 
meaning  to  his  perception  of  himself  as  one  affected, 
as  he  believed,  with  a  serious  injury  threatening  his 
future.  His  fear  was  also,  therefore,  a  fear  of  the 
present  and  future.  Thus  not  only  the  experiences 
of  the  accident  itself  became  organized  into  a  group 
and  conserved  as  a  memory,  but  were  organized  with 
memories  of  still  other  experiences  which  stood  in  a 
genetic  relation  to  them.  If  it  were  necessary  I  could 
give  from  my  personal  observation  numerous  ex- 
amples of  this  mode  of  organization  of  complexes 
through  emotional  experiences  and  of  their  repro- 
duction as  automatic  memories. 

An  historical  example  of  complex-organizing  of 
this  kind  is  narrated  in  Tallentyre's  delightful  life 
of  Voltaire.  Toward  the  end  of  Voltaire's  famous 
residence  at  the  court  of  Frederick  the  Great,  as 
the  latter 's  guest,  one  of  those  pestiferous  friends 
who  cannot  help  repeating  disagreeable  personal 
gossip  for  our  benefit  swore  to  Voltaire  to  having 
heard  Frederick  remark,  "I  shall  want  him  (Vol- 
taire) at  the  most  another  year;  one  squeezes  the 
orange  and  throws  away  the  rind. ' '  From  that  mo- 


272  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ment  a  complex  of  emotional  ideas  was  formed  in 
Voltaire's  mind,  that,  do  what  he  would,  he  could 
not  get  rid  of.  He  wrote  it  to  his  friends,  thought 
about  it,  dreamed  about  it ;  he  tried  to  forget  it,  but 
to  no  purpose;  it  would  not  "down";  the  rind  kept 
constantly  rising.  It  brought  with  it  every  memory 
of  Frederick's  character  and  actions  that  fitted  the 
remark. 

Voltaire,  like  many  men  of  genius,  was  a  neuras- 
thenic and  his  ideas  with  strong  emotional  tones 
tended  to  become  strongly  organized  and  acquire 
great  force.  '  *  The  orange  rind  haunts  my  dreams, ' ' 
he  wrote ; '  *  I  try  not  to  believe  it.  ...  We  go  to  sup 
with  the  king  and  are  gay  enough  sometimes; — the 
man  who  fell  from  the  top  of  a  steeple  and  found  the 
fall  through  the  air  soft  and  said,  'Good,  provided 
it  lasts,'  is  not  a  little  as  I  am."  The  emotional 
complex  which  so  tormented  Voltaire  that  it  literally 
became  an  obsession  was  a  recurring  memory.  The 
experience  had  been  strongly  registered  and  con- 
served, owing  to  the  emotional  tone,  but  the  reason 
why  there  was  so  much  emotion,  and  why  it  ab- 
sorbed so  many  associated  ideas  into  itself  and  kept 
recurring  would  undoubtedly  have  been  found  to 
lie,  if  we  could  have  probed  Voltaire's  mind,  in  its 
settings — his  previous  stormy  experiences  with 
Frederick,  his  knowledge  of  Frederick's  character, 
his  previous  apprehensions  of  what  later  actually 
occurred,  and,  most  probably,  self-reproach  for  his 
own  behavior,  the  consequences  of  which  he  feared 
to  face.  All  this,  conserved  as  neurograms,  was  set 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  273 

ablaze  by  the  remark  and  furnished  not  only  the 
emotion  but  the  material  for  the  content  of  the 
complex.  These  previous  experiences,  therefore, 
stood  in  genetic  relation  to  the  latter,  excited  the 
emotional  reaction  of  anger,  resentment  and  fear, 
and  prevented  the  complex  from  subsiding.  The  ex- 
citing cause  for  each  recurrence  of  the  complex  was, 
of  course,  some  associated  stimulus  from  the  envi- 
ronment, or  train  of  thought. 

Another  interesting  historical  example  is  the  fool- 
ish complex  which  is  said  to  have  disturbed  the 
pretty  Mme.  Leclerc  (Pauline  Bonaparte,  who  was 
afterward  the  Princess  Borghese).  This  fascinat- 
ing and  beautiful  woman  was  enjoying  her  triumph 
at  a  ball.  Seated  in  a  little  boudoir  off  the  ball- 
room she  was  entertaining  "  guests  who  came  to 
admire  her  and  fill  her  cup  to  overflowing.  There 
was,  however,  a  Mme.  de  Contades,  who  had  been 
deserted  by  her  own  cavaliers  at  the  appearance  of 
Pauline.  Approaching,  now,  on  the  arm  of  her 
escort,  she  said  in  a  tone  sufficiently  loud  so  that 
every  one,  including  Pauline,  could  hear  perfectly: 
'Mon  Dieu,  what  a  misfortune!  Oh,  what  a  pity! 
She  would  be  so  pretty  but  for  that!'  'But  for 
what?'  asked  her  cavalier.  All  eyes  were  turned 
upon  poor  Mme.  Leclerc,  who  thought  there  must 
be  something  the  matter  with  her  coiffure  and  began 
to  redden  and  suffocate.  'But  do  you  not  see 
what  I  mean?'  persisted  Mme.  de  Contades,  with 
the  cold  cruelty  of  a  jealous  woman.  'What  a  pity! 
Yes,  truly,  how  unfortunate !  Such  a  really  pretty 


274  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

head  to  have  such  ears !  If  I  had  ears  like  those  I 
would  have  them  cut  off.  Yes,  positively,  they  are 
like  those  of  a  pug  dog.  You  who  know  her,  Mon- 
sieur, advise  her  to  have  it  done ;  it  would  be  a  char- 
itable act.'  Pauline,  more  beautiful  than  ever  in 
her  blushes,  rose,  tears  blinding  her  eyes,  then  sank 
back  upon  the  sofa,  hiding  her  face  in  her  hands, 
sick  with  mortification  and  shame.  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  her  ears  were  not  ugly,  only  a  little  too  flat. 
From  that  day,  however,  she  always  dressed  her 
hair  over  them  or  concealed  them  under  a  bandeau, 
as  in  the  well-known  painting  of  her."  * 

Fixed  ideas  relating  to  physical  blemishes  are  not 
uncommonly  observed  as  obsessions  in  psychasthen- 
ics.  With  our  knowledge  of  such  psychical  manifes- 
tations it  is  easy  to  imagine  Pauline's  antecedent 
thoughts  regarding  her  own  flat  ears,  and  repug- 
nance to  this  defect  in  others,  her  suspicions  of  un- 
favorable criticisms  and  of  not  being  admired,  etc., 
all  organized  with  the  instinct  of  self-abasement 
(emotion  of  subjection)  and  forming  a  sentiment  of 
self-depreciation  and  shame  in  her  mind. 

2.  The  outbreak  of  such  automatic  memories  is 
particularly  prone  to  occur  in  persons  of  a  particu- 
lar temperament  (the  apprehensive  temperament,  in 
which  the  biological  instinct  of  fear  is  the  paramount 
factor),  in  fatigue  states,  and  in  so-called  neurotic 
people — neurasthenics,  psychasthenics,  and  hyster- 
ics. In  such  people  the  organization  of  the  complex 
probably  has  been  largely  a  previously  subcon- 

*  Sisters  of  Napoleon,  by  M.  Joseph  Turquan. 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  275 

scions  incubating  process,  as  in  the  phenomenon  of 
"sudden  religious  conversion."  Later  the  sudden 
suggestion  or  awakening  by  whatsoever  means  of 
an  idea,  which  has  roots  in  the  antecedent  thoughts 
engaged  in  the  subconscious  process,  readily  gives 
occasion  for  the  outbreak  of  the  complex.  The  lat- 
ter then  excites  the  emotional  reaction  of  anger,  hor- 
ror, antipathy,  fear,  jealousy,  etc.,  which  becomes 
incorporated  in  the  complex.  When  once  formed  the 
automatism  becomes  the  psychosis.  The  following 
case  is  an  illustration : 

L.  E.  W.,  forty-nine  years  of  age,  farmer  and 
lawyer  by  occupation,  a  man  of  strenuous  disposi- 
tion, broke  down  under  stress  and  strain  with  severe 
but  common  symptoms  of  mental  and  physical 
fatigue  modified  and  exaggerated  by  apprehensions 
of  incurable  illness.  At  the  end  of  a  year  there 
developed  scruples  and  jealous  suspicions  of  his 
wife's  chastity,  not  persistent  but  recurring  from 
time  to  time  in  attacks,  and  always  awakened  by 
a  suggestion  of  some  kind — an  associated  idea,  a 
remark  heard,  an  act  of  some  kind  on  the  part  of 
the  wife,  etc.  Between  the  attacks  he  was  entirely 
free  from  such  thoughts,  but  during  the  attack, 
which  came  on  with  the  usual  suddenness,  these 
thoughts — always  the  same  doubts,  suspicions,  rea- 
sonings, jealousy,  and  fear — were  dominating,  im- 
perative, and  painful.  An  open-minded,  frank,  in- 
telligent man  he  fully  realized  that  his  scruples  were 
entirely  unfounded  and  even  characterized  them  as 


276  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

"delusions."  It  was  interesting,  so  clear  was  he  in 
this  respect,  to  hear  him  discuss  his  attacks  between 
times  with  his  wife,  as  if  they  were  recurrent  appen- 
dicitis. The  attacks  would  pass  off  in  a  short  time 
after  discussing  his  scruples  with  his  wife,  and  then 
he  became  natural  again ;  they  involved  great  suffer- 
ing and  he  feared,  as  people  thus  afflicted  so  often 
do,  that  they  spelled  impending  insanity.  And  yet 
it  was  easy  to  determine  that  they  were  only  impera- 
tive recurrent  memories,  conserved  complexes 
emerging  from  the  unconscious.  He  had  been  mar- 
ried twenty-two  years.  He  was  of  a  jealous  nature, 
and  before  marriage  it  annoyed  him  to  think  that  his 
wife  had  been  courted  by  other  men,  that  she  wrote 
them  letters,  etc.  He  began  to  think  of  her  as  a 
flirt,  that  she  was  going  to  jilt  him,  and  to  have 
misgivings  of  her  character.  He  grew  jealous  and 
suspicions  of  possible  unchastity  worried  him,  but 
reasoning  with  himself  he  would  say,  ' '  0,  pshaw !  it 
is  an  abominable  suspicion,"  "an  hallucination," 
and  put  the  thought  out  of  his  mind,  as  he  said. 
But  we  know  he  really  put  the  thought  into  his 
mind  to  be  conserved  in  the  unconscious,  as  a  com- 
plex of  chastity  scruples,  and  there  undergo  incuba- 
tion and  further  development.  Later  he  had  had 
spells  of  jealousy  during  his  married  life  but.no  true 
imperative  ideas  until  he  broke  down  in  health,  and 
then,  as  he  himself  expressed  it,  "the  devil  got  the 
upper  hand  and  said,  'I've  got  you  now.'  " 

The  devil  was  the  complex  organized  twenty-two 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  277 

years  previously  with  the  emotion  of  jealousy  *  cen- 
tered about  the  idea  of  his  wife  and  the  whole  neu- 
rographically  conserved.  The  impulsive  force  of 
the  emotion  was  constantly  striving  to  awaken  and 
give  expression  to  the  unconscious  complex.  He 
was  able  to  hold  it  in  check,  to  repress  it,  by  the 
conflicting  force  of  other  sentiments  until  these  be- 
came weakened  by  the  development  of  the  psychas- 
thenic  state.  Then  these  latter  controlling  elements 
of  personality  were  repressed  in  turn  whenever  the 
more  powerful  jealousy  complex  was  awakened. 
The  whole  mechanism  was  undoubtedly  more  com- 
plicated than  this,  in  that  the  jealousy  complex  had 
a  setting  in  certain  unsophisticated  and  puritanical 
ideas  of  conduct  (brought  to  light  in  the  analysis) 
which  gave  a  peculiar  meaning  (for  him)  to  his 
wife's  actions.  So  long  as  this  setting  persisted  it 
would  be  next  to  impossible  to  modify  the  jealousy 
complex. 

Whatever  the  mechanism,  ideas  with  strong 
emotional  tones  (particularly  fear,  anger,  jealousy, 
and  disgust),  no  matter  how  absurd  or  repellent,  or 
unjustified,  and  whether  acceptable  or  unacceptable, 
tend  to  become  organized  and  welded  into  a  com- 
plex which  is  thereby  conserved.  The  impulsive 
force  of  the  incorporated  emotion  tends  to  awaken 
and  give  expression  to  the  complex  whenever  stimu- 
lated. The  recurrence  of  such  an  organized  complex 

*  McDougall  (Social  Psychology)  regards  jealousy  as  a  complex 
emotional  state  iu  which  anger,  tender  emotion,  and  other  innate 
dispositions  are  factors. 


278  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

so  far  as  it  is  reproduction  is,  of  course,  in  principle, 
memory,  and  an  imperative  memory  or  fixed  idea. 
Whether  the  complex  shall  be  awakened  as  such  a 
recurrent  memory,  or  shall  function  as  a  dissociated 
subconscious  process,  producing  other  disturbances, 
or  remain  quiescent  in  the  unconscious,  depends 
upon  other  factors  which  we  need  not  now  consider. 

3.  Clinically  the  periodic  recurrence  of  such  com- 
plexes is  an  obsession.  An  obsession  as  met  with  is 
most  likely  to  be  characterized  by  fear  not  only  be- 
cause the  instinct  of  fear  is  the  most  painful  of  the 
emotions,  but  for  another  reason.  Although  biologi- 
cally fear  is  useful  as  a  defense  for  the  preservation 
of  the  individual,  when  perverted  by  useless  associa- 
tions it  becomes  harmful,  in  that  it  is  not  only  pain- 
ful but  prevents  the  adjustment  of  the  individual  to 
his  environment  and  thereby  takes  on  a  pathological 
taint.  Complexes  with  other  emotions  are  less  likely 
to  be  harmful  and  therefore  less  frequently  apply 
for  relief.  Yet  imperative  ideas  with  jealousy, 
anger,  hatred,  love,  disgust,  etc.,  centered  about  an 
object  are  exceedingly  common  though  their  pos- 
sessors less  often  resort  to  a  physician. 

From  another  point  of  view  abnormal  complexes, 
represented  by  these  examples,  may  be  regarded  as 
"association  psychoses."  Sometimes  the  physio- 
logical bodily  accompaniments  form  the  greater  part 
of  the  complex  which  is  for  the  most  part  made  up 
of  physiological  disturbances  (vasomotor,  cardiac, 
gastric,  respiratory,  secretory,  muscular,  etc.) ;  al- 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  279 

most  pure  association  neuroses  they  then  become. 
Neuroses  of  this  kind  we  shall  consider  in  a  later 
lecture.* 

Sometimes,  particularly  in  people  of  intensive 
temperaments,  " imperative  ideas"  are  formed  by 
gradual  evolution  in  consequence  of  the  mind  con- 
stantly dwelling  with  emotional  intensity  on  certain 
phases  of  thought — i.  e.,  through  repetition.  This 
we  see  in  the  development  of  religious  complexes  or 
faiths,  but  it  is  also  obtrusive  in  other  fields  of 
thought,  political,  industrial,  social,  etc.  Hence  the 
evolution  of  fanatics.  A.  D.  is  a  man  of  strong 
feeling  and  great  imagination.  As  a  child  he  was 
a  constant  witness  of  quarrels  between  his  father 
and  .mother.  His  mind  dwelt  upon  these  experi- 
ences and  there  developed  in  him  at  an  early  date 
strong  aversions  toward  marriage.  Aversion 
means  the  instinct  of  repulsion  or  disgust.  This 
instinct  therefore  became  systematized  with  the 
idea  of  marriage  as  its  object  forming  an  intense 
sentiment  of  aversion.  Even  as  a  boy  the  aversion 
impelled  him  to  determine  never  to  marry  and  later 
he  formed  strong  theoretical  anti-matrimonial  views 
which  became  almost  a  religion.  For  years  he 
talked  about  his  views,  argued  and  preached  about 
them  like  a  fanatic  to  his  friends.  His  aversion 
rose  in  successful  conflict  against  every  temptation 
to  matrimony  and  his  anti-matrimonial  complex  be- 
came an  obsession.  The  consequences  were  what 
might  have  been  expected  when,  later  in  life,  he  al- 

*  Not  included  in  this  volume. 


280  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

lowed  himself  in  a  moment  of  sympathetic  weakness 
and  owing  to  compromising  situations  to  slip  within 
the  matrimonial  noose.  The  complex  then,  like  that 
of  Voltaire's  orange  rind,  would  not  down  at  his 
own  bidding,  or  at  that  of  his  devoted  spouse  for 
whom  he  had,  in  other  respects,  a  strong  affection 
mingled  with  personal  admiration.  The  resulting 
situation  can  be  imagined. 

5.  Hysterical  attacks.  It  is  of  practical  impor- 
tance to  note  another  part  which  emotional  com- 
plexes may  play  in  psychopathology.  In  certain 
pathological  conditions  in  which  there  is  limita- 
tion of  the  field  of  consciousness  (involving  a  disap- 
pearance of  a  large  part  of  the  normal  mental  life) 
often  all  that  persists  of  consciousness  and  repre- 
sents the  personal  self  is  the  obsessing  complex 
which  previously  tormented  the  patient.  In  hysteri- 
cal crises,  psycholeptic  attacks,  trance,  and  certain 
types  of  epilepsy  this  is  peculiarly  the  case.  In  these 
states  the  content  of  consciousness  consists  almost 
wholly,  or  at  least  largely,  of  a  recurrent  memory 
of  an  experience  which  originated  in  the  normal  life 
and  which  has  been  conserved  in  the  unconscious. 
Here  the  obsessing  ideas,  which  at  one  time  were 
voluntarily  entertained  by  the  subject,  or,  as  fre- 
quently happens,  originated  in  some  emotional  ex- 
perience, automatically  recur,  while  the  remainder 
of  the  conscious  life  becomes  dissociated  and  sup- 
pressed ;  in  other  words  the  obsessing  ideas  emerge 
out  of  the  unconscious  (neurograms)  and  became 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  281 

substantially  the  whole  conscious  field.  In  hysteri- 
cal attacks,  particularly,  the  complex  is  accompanied 
by  the  same  strong  emotional  tone — such  as  fear, 
anxiety,  jealousy,  or  anger — which  belonged  to  the 
original  experience.  In  such  pathological  subjects, 
whenever  the  complex  is  awakened,  the  remainder 
of  the  conscious  field  tends  to  become  dissociated 
and  the  psychological  state  to  be  reproduced. 
Hence,  in  such  states,  the  ideas  repeat  themselves 
over  and  over  again  with  the  recurrence  of  the  at- 
tacks. The  subject  lives  over  again  as  in  a  dream 
the  original  attack,  which  is  a  stereotyped  revivifi- 
cation of  the  original  experience.  This  peculiarity 
of  the  mental  condition  in  attacks  has  been  described 
by  various  writers.  The  dream  of  the  hystero-epi- 
leptic  is  substantially  always  the  same.  Janet  has 
accurately  described  the  origin  and  role  of  the  fixed 
ideas  in  the  hysterical  attack.  ''These  ideas,"  he 
says,  "aje  not  conceived,  invented  at  the  moment; 
they  formulate  themselves;  they  are  only  repeti- 
tions. Thus,  the  most  important  of  the  hallucina- 
tions which  harassed  Marcelle  during  her  cloud- 
attack  was  but  the  exact  reproduction  of  a  scene 
which  had  taken  place  the  previous  year.  The  fixed 
ideas  of  dying,  of  not  eating,  are  the  reproduction 
of  certain  desperate  resolutions  taken  some  years 
ago.  Formerly  these  ideas  had  some  sense,  were 
more  or  less  well  connected  with  a  motive.  A  desper- 
ate love  affair  had  been  the  cause  of  her  attempts 
at  suicide ;  she  refused  to  eat  in  order  to  let  herself 
die  of  hunger,  etc.  To-day  these  ideas  are  again 


282  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

reproduced,  but  without  connection  and  without  rea- 
son. She  has,  we  convinced  ourselves,  completely 
forgotten  her  old  despair,  and  has  not  the  least 
wish  to  die.  The  idea  of  suicide  comes  to  her  to-day 
without  any  relation  to  her  present  situation,  and 
she  is  in  despair  at  the  idea  of  this  suicide  which 
imposes  itself  on  her  as  a  relic  of  her  past,  so  to 
say.  She  does  not  know  why  she  refuses  to  eat; 
the  ideas  of  suicide  and  refusal  of  food  are  disso- 
ciated. The  one  exists  without  the  other.  At  one 
moment  she  hears  the  voice,  'Do  not  eat,'  and  yet 
she  has  no  thought  of  death;  at  another,  she  thinks 
of  killing  herself  and  yet  she  accepts  nourishment. 
We  always  find  in  fixed  ideas  this  characteristic  of 
automatic  repetition  of  the  past  without  "  connec- 
tion, without  actual  logic. ' '  * 

When  certain  emotional  and  distressing  ideas  of 
wounded  love  are  awakened  in  M.  C.,  an  hysteric, 
she  is  thrown  into  an  hysterical  attack  in  which 
these  ideas  recur  over  and  over  again  and  dominate 
consciousness.  In  P.  M.,  another  hysteric,  ideas  of 
loneliness  and  jealousy,  which  had  previously  been 
entertained  but  which  had  been  thrust  out  of  her 
mind  again  and  again  in  a  conscientious  struggle 
with  her  moral  nature,  recur,  emerge  from  the  un- 
conscious and  dominate  the  field  of  consciousness 
in  each  hysterical  attack  which  they  induce. 

6.  In  the  psycholeptic,  a  variant  of  the  hysteric,  the 
same  sensations,  motor  phenomena,  and  hallucina- 

*  Aboulie  et  idees  fixes,  Kevue  philosophique,  1891,  i.,  p.  279. 
Mental  State  of  Hystericals,  p.  408. 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  283 

tions,  and  the  same  bizarre  ideas — whatever  the 
symptomatic  phenomena — characterize  each  attack. 
This  could  be  shown  experimentally  in  M 1.* 

Of  course  the  degree  of  dissociation  of  conscious- 
ness, the  content  of  the  fixed  idea,  and  the  physio- 
logical manifestations  vary  in  individual  cases,  ac- 
cording to  the  nature  of  the  case.  Sometimes  the 
disturbance  of  consciousness  is  slight  and  the  physi- 
ological manifestations  predominant. 

From  a  consideration  of  all  the  facts  we  see  that 
a  conserved  complex  associated  with  strong  feeling 
tones  may  play  a  disastrous  and  pathological  part 
in  certain  individuals. 

It  is  well  to  bear  in  mind  here,  as  before,  that  in 
these  statements  we  are  only  giving  a  literal  de- 
scription of  the  psychological  events  without  at- 
tempt to  form  any  theory  of  the  mechanism  of  the 
processes,  or  the  antecedent  psychogenetic  factors 
which  lead  to  the  development  of  the  particular  fixed 
ideas  or  complexes.  About  this  there  may  be  and  is 
a  difference  of  view. 

Systematized  Complexes.  In  contrast  with  the  lim- 
ited group  of  fixed  ideas,  organized  with  one  or 
more  emotions  (i.  e.,  instincts)  I  have  been  describ- 
ing, are  the  large  systems  of  complexes  or  associated 
experiences  which  become  organized  and  fairly  dis- 
tinctly differentiated  in  the  course  of  the  develop- 
ment of  every  one  *s  personality.  In  many,  at  least, 
of  these  systems  there  will  be  found  a  predominant 

*P.  33. 


284  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

emotion  and  certain  instinctive  tendencies,  and  a 
predominant  feeling  tone — of  pleasure  or  pain,  of 
exaltation  or  depression,  etc.  It  is  quite  possible 
that  careful  investigation  would  disclose  that  it  is 
this  conflicting  affective  force  which  is  responsible 
for  the  differentiation  of  one  system  from  another 
with  opposing  affects  and  tendencies.  The  differen- 
tiation of  such  systematized  complexes  is  of  con- 
siderable practical  importance  for  normal  and  ab- 
normal personality.  Among  such  systems  may  here 
be  mentioned  those  which  are  related  to  certain  sub- 
jects or  departments  of  human  experience,  or  are 
related  in  time,  or  to  certain  dispositions  or  moods 
of  the  individual.  The  first  may  be  called  subject 
systems,  the  second  chronological  systems,  and  the 
last  mood  systems. 

1.  Subject  systems:  I  find  myself  interested,  for 
instance,  in  several  fields  of  human  knowledge;  (a) 
abnormal  psychology;  (b)  public  franchises;  (c) 
yachting;  (d)  local  politics;  (e)  business  affairs. 
To  each  of  these  I  give  a  large  amount  of  thought, 
accumulate  many  data  belonging  to  each,  and  de- 
vote a  considerable  amount  of  active  work  to  carry- 
ing into  effect  my  ideas  in  each  field.  Five  large 
systems  are  thus  formed,  each  consisting  of  facts, 
opinions,  memories,  experiences,  etc.,  distinct  from 
those  belonging  to  the  others.  To  each  there  is  an 
emotion  and  a  feeling  tone  which  have  more  or  less 
distinctive  qualities;  these  coming  from  the  intel- 
lectual interest  of  abnormal  psychology  differing 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  285 

qualitatively  from  those  of  the  "joy  of  battle"  ex- 
cited by  a  public  contest  with  a  railroad  corporation 
or  gas  company,  as  it  does  from  that  of  the  exhilar- 
ating sport  of  a  yacht  race,  or  from  the  annoying 
and  rather  depressing  care  of  business  interests; 
and  so  on. 

These  five  subject-complexes  do  not  form  inde- 
pendent automatisms  or  isolated  systems  which  may 
intrude  themselves  in  any  conscious  field,  but  com- 
prise large  associations,  memories  of  experiences  in 
a  special  field  of  thought.  Within  that  field  the  ideas 
of  the  system  are  no  more  strongly  organized  than 
are  ideas  in  general;  but  it  can  be  recognized  that 
the  system  as  a  whole  with  its  affective  tones  is 
fairly  well  delimited  from  the  other  complexes  of 
other  spheres  of  thought.  It  is  difficult,  for  certain 
individuals  at  least,  to  introduce  the  associations 
of  one  subject-complex  into  the  focus  of  attention  so 
long  as  another  is  invested  with  personal  interest 
and  occupies  the  attention  of  consciousness.  They 
find  it  difficult  to  switch  *  their  minds  from  one  sub- 
ject to  another  and  back  again.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  is  said  of  Napoleon  that  he  had  all  the  subjects  of 
his  experiences  arranged  in  drawers  of  his  mind, 
and  that  he  could  open  each  drawer  at  will,  take  out 

*  The  switching  process  is  an  interesting  problem  in  itself.  (Cf. 
Max  Levy-Suhl:  Ueber  Einstellungsvorgange  in  normalen  und  anor- 
malen  Seelenzustanden.  Zeitschrift  fiir  Psychotherapie  und  Medi- 
zinishe  Psychologic,  Bd.  11,  Hft.  3,  1910.)  An  example  is  the  well- 
known  psychological  diagram  which  may  be  perceived  at  one  moment 
as  a  flight  of  steps  and  at  another  as  an  overhanging  wall,  according 
as  which  perception  of  the  same  line  is  switched  in. 


286  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

any  subject  he  wished,  and  shut  it  up  again  as  he 
wished.  Ability  of  this  kind  involves  remarkable 
control  over  the  mind  and  is  not  given  to  all. 

I  have  frequently  made  observations  like  the  fol- 
lowing on  myself,  showing  the  organization  and  dif- 
ferentiation of  systems:  I  collect  the  various  data 
belonging  to  one  of  the  problems  discussed  in  these 
lectures.  I  arrange  all  in  an  orderly  fashion  in  my 
mind,  work  out  the  logical  relations  and  the  conclu- 
sions to  which  they  lead,  as  well  as  their  relations  to 
other  data  and  problems.  The  whole  is  then 
schematically  arranged  on  paper  to  await  proper 
elaboration  the  next  morning,  when  it  will  be  written 
out  on  waking,  the  preliminary  mental  arrange- 
ment having  been  done  at  night.  A  large  complex 
has  been  created,  the  various  details  of  which  are 
luminously  clear  and  the  sequence  of  the  ideas  viv- 
idly conceived,  the  conclusions  definite.  There  is, 
further,  an  affective  tone  of  joy  and  exaltation  which 
is  apt  to  accompany  the  accomplishment  of  an  intel- 
lectual problem  and  which  produces  a  feeling  of 
increased  energy. 

The  next  morning,  as  I  awake  and  gradually  re- 
turn to  full  consciousness,  another  and  very  differ- 
ent kind  of  complex  almost  exclusively  fills  my  mind, 
owing  probably  to  the  fatigue  following  the  previous 
night's  work.  All  sorts  of  gloomy  thoughts,  mem- 
ories of  experiences  better  forgotten,  course  through 
the  mind;  and  entirely  different  emotions  (in- 
stincts), and  a  strong  feeling  of  depression  domi- 
nate the  mental  panorama.  The  whole — ideas,  emo- 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  287 

tions,  and  feelings — makes  a  complex  which  has  been 
experienced  over  and  over  again,  and  is  recognized 
as  such.  The  same  old  ideas,  emotions,  thoughts, 
and  memories,  conserved  as  neurograms,  repeat 
themselves  almost  in  stereotyped  fashion.  The  men- 
tal complex  has  completely  changed  and  the  ex- 
uberant energy  of  the  night  before  has  given  place 
to  listless  inertia. 

All  this  is  commonplace  enough,  merely  morning 
depression  you  will  say,  due  to  fatigue ;  and  so  it  is. 
But  mark  the  sequel. 

I  now  remember  that  I  have  a  task  to  perform 
and  before  rising  take  paper  and  pencil,  lying 
ready  at  my  side,  to  write  out  the  theme  previously 
arranged  in  skeleton.  But  to  my  surprise  I  find  that 
it  cannot  be  recalled.  To  be  sure,  I  can,  by  effort 
of  will,  recall  individual  facts,  but  the  facts  have 
lost  their  associations  and  meaning,  they  remain 
comparatively  isolated  in  memory;  all  their  corre- 
lated ramifications,  their  associated  ideas  and  rela- 
tions, which  the  night  before  stood  out  in  relief  and 
crowded  into  consciousness,  have  gone.  The  emo- 
tional tone  and  impulses  which  energized  the 
thoughts  have  also  disappeared,  and  with  them  the 
system  of  complexes  as  a  whole.  It  has  been  disso- 
ciated, inhibited,  repressed,  and  there  is  amnesia  for 
it.  With  the  fatigue  depression  a  new  system,  with 
different  emotions  and  feelings,  now  dominates  the 
mind  and  the  desired  system  cannot  be  switched  in. 

This  amnesia  is  not  one  of  conservation  but  one 
of  reproduction ;  for  later  in  the  day  the  fatigue  and 


288  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

depression  disappear,  a  new  energizing  emotional 
tone  arises  and  the  sought-for  system  is  switched  in 
and  returns  in  its  entirety.  With  this  change  the  de- 
pression system  in  turn  disappears,  and  now  it  is 
difficult  to  recall  it,  excepting  that  as  an  intellectual 
fact  I  remember  that  such  thoughts  occupied  my 
mind  in  the  early  morning  hours.  The  two  systems 
as  a  whole  are  distinctly  differentiated  from  and 
alternate  with  one  another. 

All  this  is  only  expressing  in  somewhat  technical 
language  a  common  experience,  as  most  people,  I 
suppose,  have  such  alternations  of  complexes.  The 
facts  are  trite  enough;  but,  because  they  are  of 
common  experience,  it  is  well  to  formulate  them 
and  so,  as  far  as  possible,  give  precision  to  our  con- 
ception of  the  psychological  relations  which  have  a 
distinct  bearing  on  the  principles  of  dissociated  per- 
sonality and  other  psychoses,  on  character  and  psy- 
cho-therapeutics. When,  at  a  later  time,  we  take  up 
for  study  the  subject  of  dissociated  personality  * 
we  shall  find  that  the  dissociation  of  consciousness 
sometimes  takes  its  lines  of  cleavage  between  sys- 
tems of  complexes  of  this  kind.f  And,  above  all,  the 
formation  of  complexes  is  the  foundation  stone  of 
psycho-therapeutics. 

The  methods  of  education  and  therapeutic  sugges- 
tion are  variants  of  this  mode  of  organizing  mental 

*  Lectures  not  included  in  this  volume. 

f  In  the  case  of  Miss  B.,  for  example,  Sally  had  absolute  amnesia 
for  certain  systems  of  subject-complexes  (Latin,  French,  etc.)  pos- 
sessed by  the  other  personalities. 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  289 

processes.  Both,  in  principle,  are  substantially  the 
same,  differing  only  in  detail.  They  depend  for 
their  effect  upon  the  implantation  in  the  mind  of 
ideational  complexes  organized  by  repetition,  or  by 
the  impulsive  force  of  their  affective  tones,  or  both. 
Every  form  of  education  necessarily  involves  the 
artificial  formation  of  such  complexes,  whether  in  a 
pedagogical,  religious,  ethical,  scientific,  social,  or 
professional  field.  So  in  psychotherapy  by  artfully 
directed  suggestion,  or  education  in  the  narrower 
sense,  complexes  may  be  similarly  formed  and  or- 
ganized. New  points  of  view  and  "sentiments" 
may  be  inculcated,  useful  emotions  and  feelings  ex- 
cited, and  the  personality  correspondingly  modified. 
Eoughly  speaking,  this  is  accomplished  by  suggest- 
ing ideas  that  will  form  settings  (associations)  that 
give  new  and  desired  meanings  to  previously  harm- 
ful ideas ;  and  these  ideas,  as  well  as  any  others  we 
desire  to  implant  in  the  mind,  are  organized  by  sug- 
gestion with  emotions  (instincts)  of  a  useful,  pleas- 
urable, and  exalting  kind  to  form  desirable  senti- 
ments, and  to  carry  the  ideas  to  fulfilment.  Thus 
sentiments  of  right,  or  of  ambition,  or  of  sympathy, 
or  of  altruism,  or  of  disinterestedness  in  self  are 
awakened ;  and,  with  all  this,  opposing  emotions  are 
aroused  to  conflict  with  and  repress  the  distressing 
ones,  and  the  whole  welded  into  a  complex  which 
becomes  conserved  neurographically  and  thereby  a 
part  of  the  personality. 

Under  ordinary  conditions  of  every-day  mental 
life  social  suggestion  acts  like  therapeutic  sugges- 


290  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tion.  But  the  suggestions  of  every-day  life  are  so 
subtle  and  insidious  that  they  are  scarcely  con- 
sciously recognized. 

2.  Chronological  systems  (using  complex  in  a 
rather  extended  sense)  are  those  which  embrace  the 
experiences  of  certain  epochs  of  our  lives  rather 
than  the  subject  material  included  in  them.  In  a 
general  way  events  as  they  are  successively  experi- 
enced become  associated  together,  and  with  other 
elements  of  personality,  so  that  the  later  recollection 
of  one  event  in  the  chain  of  an  epoch  recalls  succes- 
sively the  others.  Conversely  a  break  in  the  chain 
of  memory  may  occur  at  any  point  and  the  chain 
only  be  picked  up  at  a  more  distant  date,  leaving  be- 
tween, as  a  hiatus,  an  epoch  for  which  there  is  am- 
nesia of  reproduction.  This  normally  common  am- 
nesia affords  confirmatory  evidence  of  the  associa- 
tive relation  of  successive  events.  Involving  as  it 
does  the  unimportant  and  unemotional  experiences 
as  well  as  the  important  and  emotional — though  the 
former  may  be  as  well  conserved  as  the  latter — it 
is  not  easy  to  understand.  The  principle,  however, 
plays  an  important  part  in  abnormal  amnesia  par- 
ticularly, but  not  necessarily,  where  there  is  a  dis- 
sociation of  personality. 

The  epoch  may  be  of  a  few  hours,  or  it  may  be  of 
days,  of  months,  or  years.  The  simplest  example  is 
the  frequent  amnesia  for  the  few  hours  preceding 
a  physical  injury  to  the  head  resulting  in  temporary 
unconsciousness.  In  other  cases  it  is  the  result  of 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  291 

extensive  dissociation  effected  by  suggestion  (e.  g., 
in  hypnosis),  or  psychical  trauma  including  therein 
emotional  conflicts.  Thus,  to  cite  an  experimental 
example:  Miss  B.  is  troubled  by  a  distressing 
memory  which  constantly  recurs  to  her  mind  during 
the  twenty-four  hours.  To  relieve  her  I  suggest 
that  she  will  completely  forget  the  original  experi- 
ence. To  my  surprise,  though  the  suggestion  is  lim- 
ited to  the  experience  alone,  the  whole  twenty-four 
hours  are  completely  wiped  out  of  her  memory.  She 
cannot  recall  a  single  incident  of  that  day.  The 
whole  epoch  which  had  associations  with  the  memory 
is  dissociated. 

When  the  epochal  amnesia  follows  psychical 
trauma  the  condition  of  memory  is  apt  to  present 
the  following  peculiarity  and  the  personality  may  be 
altered.  When  the  epoch  is  the  immediate  past,  i.  e., 
includes  the  experiences  extending  from  a  certain 
past  date  up  to  the  present,  it  sometimes  happens 
that  memory  reverts  to  that  past  date.  That  is  to 
say,  the  personality  goes  back  to  the  period  last  re- 
membered in  which  he  believes,  for  the  moment,  he 
is  still  living,  the  memory  of  the  succeeding  last 
epoch  being  dissociated  from  the  personal  conscious- 
ness. Under  such  conditions  there  is  something 
more  than  amnesia.  The  neurographic  residua  of 
the  remembered  epoch  are  revived  and  its  experi- 
ences remembered  as  if  they  had  just  been  lived. 
There  is  not  only  a  dissociation  of  the  memories  of 
one  epoch,  but  a  resurrection  of  the  conserved  and 
maybe  forgotten  experiences  of  a  preceding  one. 


292  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

The  synthesis  of  these  memories  restores  again  the 
personal  consciousness  of  that  period.  Before  the 
cleavage  took  place  the  recollection  of  the  resurrec- 
ted epoch  may  have  been  very  incomplete  and  vague ; 
afterward  the  new  personality  remembers  it  as  if 
just  experienced.  The  personality  is,  however, 
in  other  respects  generally  (always!)  something  dif- 
ferent from  the  personality  of  that  particular  epoch. 
The  dissociation  is  apt  to  involve  a  certain  number 
of  acquired  traits  and  certain  innate  dispositions 
and  instincts,  while  other  outlived  and  repressed 
traits  and  innate  dispositions  and  instincts  are  apt 
to  be  reawakened  and  synthesized  into  an  altered  ab- 
normal personality.  But  this  is  another  story  that 
does  not  concern  us  now. 

As  an  example  of  epochal  amnesia  I  may  cite  Mrs. 

J ,  who,  after  dissociation  occurs,  has  amnesia 

for  all  the  events  of  several  years  succeeding  a  cer- 
tain hour  of  a  certain  day  when  a  psychical  trauma 
(shock)  occurred.  She  thinks  she  is  living  on  that 
day  and  remembers  in  great  detail  its  events  as  if 
they  had  just  occurred. 

Miss  B.  reverts  on  one  occasion  to  a  day,  six  years 
back,  when  she  received  a  psychical  shock;  the  com- 
plexes of  her  personality  of  that  day  are  revived  as 
if  just  lived,  all  the  succeeding  years  being  forgot- 
ten ;  on  another  occasion  she  reverts  to  a  day  when 
she  was  living  in  another  city  seven  or  eight  years 
before. 

M 1  reverts  to  an  early  period  of  his  life  when 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  293 

he  was  living  in  Eussia,  and  forgets  all  since  includ- 
ing even  his  knowledge  of  English. 

B.  C.  A.  on  several  occasions  reverts  to  different 
epochs  of  her  life  with  complete  amnesia  for  all 
'after  events.  On  each  occasion  she  takes  up  the 
thread  of  her  mental  life  as  if  living  in  the  past,  and 
recites  the  events  as  if  just  lived. 

Likewise,  after  a  subject  reverts  from  the  abnor- 
mal to  the  normal  state,  after  a  short  or  long  condi- 
tion of  altered  personality,  there  may  be  a  complete 
amnesia  for  the  abnormal  epoch,  and  although  now 
normal  he  thinks  it  the  same  day  on  which  dissocia- 
tion occurred. 

Thus,  Miss  0.  develops  a  condition  of  dissociated 
personality  lasting  six  months  during  which,  as  it 
unfortunately  happens,  she  falls  in  love  with  a 
man  whom  she  had  never  known  in  her  normal  state. 
At  the  end  of  this  period  she  "wakes  up"  with  a 
complete  loss  of  memory  for  the  phase  of  altered 
personality  and,  therefore,  to  find  that  her  fiance  is 
apparently  a  stranger  to  her  ( !). 

The  same  amnesia  in  the  normal  state  for  pro- 
longed epochs  in  which  the  personality  was  altered 
was  conspicuous  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.  In  William 
James'  often-cited  case  of  Ansel  Bourne  and  Dr. 
E.  E.  Mayer's  case  of  Chas.  W.  the  subjects  returned 
to  their  normal  states  with  complete  amnesia  for  the 
abnormal  epochs  of  two  months  and  seventeen  years 
respectively. 

After  all,  the  common  amnesia  for  the  hypnotic 
state  after  waking  is  the  same  phenomenon. 


294  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

Such  observations  show  the  possible  systematiza- 
tion  of  epoch  complexes,  although  the  determining 
conditions  are  not  as  yet  understood. 

3.  Disposition  or  Mood  systems. — Among  the 
loosely  organized  complexes  in  many  individuals, 
and  possibly  in  all  of  us,  there  are  certain  disposi- 
tions toward  views  of  life  which  represent  natural 
inclinations,  desires,  and  modes  of  activity,  which, 
for  one  reason  or  another,  we  tend  to  suppress  or 
are  unable  to  give  full  play  to.  Many  individuals, 
for  example,  are  compelled  by  the  exactions  of  their 
duties  and  responsibilities  to  lead  serious  lives,  to 
devote  themselves  to  pursuits  which  demand  all 
their  energies  and  thought  and  which,  therefore, 
do  not  permit  of  indulgence  in  the  lighter  enjoy- 
ments of  life ;  and  yet  they  may  have  a  natural  in- 
clination to  partake  of  the  pleasures  which  innately 
appeal  to  all  mankind  and  which  many  actually  pur- 
sue ;  in  other  words,  to  yield  to  the  impulsive  force 
of  the  innate  disposition,  or  instinct,  of  play.  But 
these  desires  are  repressed.  Nevertheless  the  long- 
ing for  these  pleasures,  under  the  impulses  of  this 
instinct,  recurs  from  time  to  time.  The  mind  dwells 
on  them,  the  imagination  is  excited  and  weaves  a 
fabric  of  pictures,  sentiments,  thoughts,  and  emo- 
tions the  whole  of  which  thus  becomes  organized  into 
a  systematized  complex. 

There  may  be  a  conflict,  a  rebellion  and  "  kicking 
against  the  pricks"  and,  thereby,  a  liberation  of 
emotional  force  of  the  instinct,  impressing,  on  the 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  295 

one  hand,  a  stronger  organization  of  the  whole 
process,  and,  on  the  other,  repressing  all  conflicting 
desires.  Or,  the  converse  of  this  may  hold  and  a 
person  who  devotes  his  life  to  the  lighter  enjoyments 
may  have  aspirations  and  longings  for  the  more 
serious  pursuits,  and  in  this  respect  the  imagination 
may  similarly  build  up  a  complex  which  may  simi- 
larly express  itself.  The  recurrence  of  such  com- 
plexes is  one  form  of  what  we  call  a  "mood"  which 
has  a  distinctively  emotional  tone  of  its  own  derived 
from  the  instincts  and  sentiments  which  are  domi- 
nant. Such  a  "disposition"  system  is  often  spoken 
of  as  "a  side  to  one's  character/'  to  which  a  person 
may  from  time  to  time  give  play.  Thus  a  person  is 
said  to  have  "many  sides  to  his  character,"  and  ex- 
hibits certain  alternations  of  personality  which  may 
be  regarded  as  normal  prototypes  of  those  which 
occur  as  abnormal  states. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  note  in  passing  that  the 
well-known  characteristics  of  people  of  a  certain 
temperament,  in  consequence  of  which  they  can  pur- 
sue their  respective  vocations  only  when  they  are 
"in  the  mood  for  it,"  can  be  referred  to  this  prin- 
ciple of  complex  formations  and  dissociation  of  rival 
systems.  Literary  persons,  musicians,  and  artists 
in  whom  "feeling"  is  apt  to  be  cultivated  to  a  de- 
gree of  self -pampering  are  conspicuous  in  this  class. 
The  ideas  pertaining  to  the  development  of  their 
craft  form  mixed  subject  and  mood  complexes  which 
tend  to  have  strong  emotional  and  feeling  tones. 
When  some  other  affective  tone  is  substituted,  or- 


296  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ganized  within  a  conflicting  complex,  it  is  difficult 
for  such  persons  to  revive  the  subject  complex  be- 
longing to  the  piece  of  work  in  hand  and  necessary 
for  its  prosecution.  "The  ideas  will  not  come,"  be- 
cause the  whole  subject  complex  which  supplies  the 
material  with  which  the  imagination  is  to  work  has 
been  dissociated  and  replaced  by  some  other.  Cer- 
tain elements  in  the  complex  can  be  revived  piece- 
meal, as  it  were,  but  the  complex  will  not  develop  in 
mass  with  the  emotional  driving  energy  which  be- 
longs to  it.  Not  having  their  complexes  and  affects 
under  voluntary  control  it  is  necessary  for  such  per- 
sons to  wait  until,  from  an  alteration  in  the  coenes- 
thesis  or  for  some  other  reason,  an  alteration  in 
the  "feeling"  has  taken  place  with  a  revival  of  the 
right  complex  in  mass. 

No  more  exquisite  illustration  of  these  "dispo- 
sition complexes"  could  be  found  than  in  the  per- 
sonality of  William  Sharp.  Sharp 's  title  to  literary 
fame  very  largely  rests  upon  the  writings  which  he 
gave  to  the  world  under  the  feminine  name  of  Fiona 
Macleod.  The  identity  of  the  author  was  concealed 
from  the  world  until  his  death,  and  it  is  still  a  com- 
mon belief  that  this  concealment  and  the  assumption 
of  the  feminine  pseudonym  were  nothing  more  than 
a  literary  hoax.  Nothing  could  be  farther  from  the 
truth.  There  were  two  William  Sharps;  by  which 
I  mean,  of  course,  there  were  two  very  strongly  or- 
ganized and  sharply  cut  sides  to  his  character. 
Each  had  its  points  of  view,  its  complexes  of  ideas, 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  297 

its  imaginings,  and,  above  all,  its  creative  tenden- 
cies and  feeling  tones.  The  one  side — the  one  chris- 
tened William  Sharp — was  the  bread  and  butter 
earner,  the  relatively  practical  man  who  came  in 
contact  with  the  world — literary  critic,  "biographer, 
essay  and  novel  writer  as  well  as  poet" — the  experi- 
enced side  which  was  obliged  to  correct  its  imag- 
ination by  constant  comparison  with  reality.  The 
other  side — Fiona  Macleod — was  the  so-called  inner 
man ;  what  he  himself  called  his  ' '  true  inward  self. ' ' 
As  Fiona  he  lived  in  his  imagination  and  dreamed. 
The  development  of  this  side  of  his  personality  be- 
gan while,  as  he  said,  "I  was  still  a  child."  "He 
found,"  his  biographer  writes,*  "as  have  other  im- 
aginative, psychic  children,  that  he  had  an  inner  life, 
a  curious  power  of  visions  unshared  by  any  one 
about  him,  so  that  what  he  related  was  usually  dis- 
credited; but  the  psychic  side  of  his  nature  was  too 
intimate  a  part  of  his  mind  to  be  killed  by  misun- 
derstanding. He  learned  to  shut  it  away — to  keep 
it  as  a  thing  apart — a  mystery  of  his  own,  a  mystery 
to  himself." 

This  inner  life,  as  time  went  on,  became  a  mood 
which  he  fostered  and  developed  and  in  which  he 
built  up  great  complexes  of  fancies,  points  of  view, 
and  emotions,  which,  when  the  other  side  of  his  char- 
acter came  uppermost,  remained  neurographically 
conserved  and  dormant  in  the  unconscious.  The 
Fiona  complexes  he  distinctly  felt  to  be  feminine  in 
type  so  that  when  he  came  to  give  expression  to 

*  William  Sharp,  A  Memoir,  by  Elizabeth  A.  Sharp. 


298  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

them,  as  lie  felt  he  must,  he  concealed  this  side  of 
his  character  under  a  feminine  pseudonym.  "My 
truest  self,"  he  wrote,  "the  self  who  is  below  all 
other  selves,  and  my  most  intimate  life,  and  joys, 
and  sufferings,  thoughts,  emotions,  and  dreams  must 
find  expression,  yet  I  cannot  save  in  this  hidden 
way. ' ' 

"From  time  to  time  the  emotional,  the  more  inti- 
mate self,  would  sweep  aside  all  conscious  control; 
a  dream,  a  sudden  inner  vision,  an  idea  that  had  lain 
dormant  in  what  he  called  *  the  mind  behind  the 
mind'  would  suddenly  visualize  itself  and  blot  out 
everything  else  from  his  consciousness,  and  under 
such  impulse  he  would  write  at  great  speed,  hardly 
aware  of  what,  or  how,  he  wrote,  so  absorbed  was  he 
in  the  vision  with  which  for  the  moment  he  was  iden- 
tified." 

"All  my  work,"  he  said,  "is  so  intimately 
wrought  with  my  own  experiences  that  I  cannot  tell 
you  about  Pharais,  etc.,  without  telling  you  my 
whole  life. ' ' 

"William  Sharp  himself  realized  the  two  moods  or 
"sides,"  which  became  in  time  developed  into  two 
distinct  personalities.  These  he  distinctly  recog- 
nized, although  there  was  no  amnesia.  "Rightly  or 
wrongly,"  he  wrote,  "I  am  conscious  of  something 
to  be  done  by  one  side  of  me,  by  one-half  of  me,  by 
the  true  inward  mind  as  I  believe — (apart  from  the 
overwhelmingly  felt  mystery  of  a  dual  mind,  and  a 
reminiscent  life,  and  a  woman's  life  and  nature 
within  concurring  with  and  oftenest  dominating  the 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  299 

other)  .  .  .  '  This  dual  personality  was  so 
strongly  realized  by  him  that  on  his  birthdays  he 
wrote  letters  to  himself  as  Fiona  signed  "  Will,"  and 
vice  versa. 

I  have  dwelt  upon  this  historical  example  of  the 
exaggerated  development  of  mood  complexes  be- 
cause, while  well  within  the  limits  of  normal  life,  it 
brings  home  to  us  the  recognition  of  psychological 
facts  which  we  all,  more  or  less,  have  in  common. 
But,  more  important  than  this,  in  certain  abnormal 
conditions  where  the  dissociation  between  systems 
of  complexes  becomes  more  exaggerated,  mood,  sub- 
ject, chronological  and  other  complexes,  linked  as 
each  is  with  its  own  characteristic  emotions  and  feel- 
ings— instincts  and  other  innate  dispositions — play  a 
paramount  part  and  dominate  the  personality.  In 
the  hysterical  personality,  in  particular,  there  is 
more  or  less  complete  reversion  to  or  a  subconscious 
awakening  of  one  or  other  such  complex.  Where 
the  hysterical  dissociation  becomes  so  extreme  as 
to  eventuate  in  amnesia  in  one  state  for  another  the 
different  systems  of  complexes  are  easily  recognized 
as  so  many  phases  of  multiple  personality.  But  in 
so  identifying  the  ideational  content  of  phases  of 
personality  it  should  not  be  overlooked  that  inten- 
sive studies  of  multiple  personality  disclose  the  fact 
that  the  dissociation  of  one  phase  for  another  car- 
ries with  it  certain  of  the  instincts  innate  in  every 
organism.  What  I  mean  to  say  is,  observation  of 
psychopathological  states  has  shown  that  instincts, 


300  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

such  as  play,  hunger,  anger,  fear,  love,  disgust,  the 
sexual  instincts,  etc.,  may  be  dissociated  separately 
or  in  conjunction  with  complexes  of  ideas.  In  every 
case  of  multiple  personality  that  I  have  had  the  op- 
portunity to  study  each  phase  has  been  shorn  of 
one  or  more  of  these  inborn  psycho-physiological 
dispositions  and  I  believe  this  obtains  in  every  true 
case.  As  a  result  certain  sentiments  and  traits  are 
lost  while  those  that  are  retained  stamp  an  individu- 
ality upon  the  phase.  And  as  the  conative  forces  of 
the  retained  instincts  are  not  balanced  and  checked 
by  the  dissociated  opposing  instincts,  the  sentiments 
which  they  form  and  the  emotional  reactions  to 
which  they  give  rise  stand  out  as  dominating  traits. 
Thus  one  phase  may  be  characterized  by  pugnacity, 
self-assertion,  and  elation;  another  by  submission, 
fear  and  tender  feeling;  and  so  on. 

This  is  not  the  place  to  enter  into  an  explanation 
of  dissociated  personality,  but  I  may  point  out,  in 
anticipation  of  a  deeper  discussion  of  the  subject, 
that,  in  accordance  with  these  two  principles,  in  such 
conditions  we  sometimes  find  that  disposition  and 
other  complexes  conserved  in  the  unconscious  come 
to  the  surface  and  displace  or  substitute  themselves 
for  the  other  complexes  which  dominate  a  personal- 
ity. A  complex  or  system  of  complexes  that  is  only 
a  mood  or  a  "side  of  the  character"  of  a  normal  in- 
dividual, may  in  conditions  of  dissociation  become 
the  main  complex  and  chief  characteristic  of  the  new 
personality.  In  Miss  B.,  for  instance,  the  personal- 
ity known  as  BI  was  made  up  almost  entirely  of  the 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  301 

religious  and  ethical  ideas  with  corresponding  in- 
stincts which  formed  one  side  of  the  original  self. 
In  the  personality  known  as  Sally  we  had  for  the 
most  part  the  chronological  and  mood  complexes  of 
youth  representing  the  enjoyment  of  youthful  pleas- 
ures and  sports,  the  freedom  from  conventionalities 
and  artificial  restraints  generally  imposed  by  duties 
and  responsibilities ;  she  was  a  resurrection  of  child 
life.  In  BIV  the  complex  represented  the  ambitions 
and  activities  of  practical  life.  In  Miss  B.,  as  a 
whole,  normal,  without  disintegration,  it  was  easy  to 
recognize  all  three  dispositions  as  sides  of  her  char- 
acter, though  each  was  kept  ordinarily  within  proper 
bounds  by  the  conflicting  influence  of  the  others.  It 
was  only  necessary  to  put  her  in  an  environment 
which  encouraged  one  or  the  other  side,  to  associate 
her  with  people  who  strongly  suggested  one  or  the 
other  of  her  own  characteristics,  whether  religious, 
social,  pleasure-loving,  or  intellectual,  to  see  the 
characteristics  of  BI,  Sally,  or  BIV  stand  out  in 
relief  as  the  predominant  personality.  Then  we  had 
the  alternating  play  of  these  different  sides  of  her 
character. 

Likewise  in  B.  C.  A.  In  each  of  the  personalities, 
B  and  A,  similar  disposition  complexes  could  be 
recognized  each  corresponding  to  a  side  of  the  char- 
acter of  the  original  personality  C.  In  A  were  rep- 
resented the  complexes  formed  by  ideas  of  duty,  re- 
sponsibility, and  moral  scruples;  in  B  were  repre- 
sented the  complexes  formed  by  the  longing  for  fun 
and  the  amusements  which  life  offered.  When  the 


302  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

cleavage  of  personality  took  place  it  was  between 
these  two  complexes,  just  as  it  was  in  Miss  B.  be- 
tween the  several  complexes  above  described.  This 
is  well  brought  out  in  the  respective  autobiographies 
of  B  *  and  Sally  f  in  these  two  cases.  In  many  cases 
of  hysteria  in  which  dissociation  of  personality  can 
be  recognized  the  same  phenomenon  is  often  mani- 
fest. A  careful  study  will  reveal  it  also,  I  believe, 
in  other  cases  of  multiple  personality,  although,  of 
course,  as  we  have  seen,  the  dissociation  may  be 
along  other  lines ;  that  is,  between  other  complexes 
than  those  of  disposition. 

This  principle  of  the  conservation,  as  neurograms 
in  the  unconscious,  of  complexes  representing 
"sides"  to  one's  character,  gives  a  new  meaning  to 
the  saying  In  vino  veritas.  In  alcoholic  and  other 
forms  of  intoxication  there  results  a  loss  of  inhibi- 
tion, of  self-control,  and  the  disposition  complexes, 
which  have  been  repressed  or  concealed  by  the  in- 
dividual as  a  matter  of  social  defense,  arise  out  of 
the  unconscious,  and,  for  the  time  being,  become  the 
dominant  mood  or  phase  of  personality.  When 
these  complexes  represent  the  true  inner  life  and 
nature  of  the  individual,  freed  from  the  repressing 
protection  of  expediency,  we  can  then  truly  say  '  *  In 
vino  veritas." 

Complexes  organized  in  hypnotic  and  other  dissociated 
conditions — 1.  We  have  been  speaking  thus  far  of 

*  My  Life   as   a  Dissociated   Personality,   Journal  of  Abnormal 
Psychology,  October-November,  1908,  December-January,  1909. 
t  The  Dissociation,  Chapter  XXIII. 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  303 

complexes  formed  in  the  course  of  every-day  life  and 
which  take  part  in  the  composition  of  the  normal 
personality.  But  it  is  obvious  that  a  complex  may 
be  organized  in  any  condition  of  personality  so  long 
as  we  are  dealing  with  consciousness,  however  lim- 
ited or  disturbed.  Thus  in  artificial  states,  like  hyp- 
nosis and  the  subconscious  process  which  produces 
automatic  writing,  ideas  may  be  synthesized  into 
systems  as  well  as  in  normal  waking  life.  This  is 
exemplified  by  the  fact  that  in  hypnosis  the  mem- 
ories of  past  hypnotic  experiences  are  conserved  and 
form  systems  of  memories  dissociated  from  the 
memories  of  waking  life.  When  the  subject  regains 
the  normal  condition  of  the  personal  self,  though 
there  may  be  amnesia  for  the  hypnotic  experiences 
their  neurograms  remain  conserved  to  the  same  ex- 
tent and  in  the  same  fashion  as  do  those  of  the  wak- 
ing life.  Consequently  on  the  return  to  the  hyp- 
notic state  the  memories  of  previous  hypnotic  ex- 
periences are  recovered. 

This  systematization  of  hypnotic  experiences  is 
easily  recognized  in  those  cases  where  several  dif- 
ferent hypnotic  states  can  be  obtained  in  the  same 
individual.  Each  state  has  its  own  system  of  memor- 
ies differing  from,  and  with  amnesia  for,  those  of  the 
others.  Each  system  also  has  its  own  feeling  tones, 
one  system,  for  example,  having  a  tone  of  elation, 
another,  of  depression,  etc.  The  systematization  is 
still  more  accentuated  in  cases  like  the  one  men- 
tioned in  the  second  lecture  (p.  19),  where  the  sub- 
ject goes  into  a  hypnotic  state  resembling  a  trance, 


304  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

and  lives  in  an  ideal  world,  peopled  by  imaginary 
persons,  and  in  an  imaginary  environment,  perhaps 
a  spirit  world  or  another  planet.  The  content  of 
consciousness  consists  of  fabrications  which  make 
up  a  fancied  life.  In  the  instance  I  have  mentioned 
the  subject  imagined  she  was  living  in  a  world  of 
spirits;  in  Flournoy's  classical  case,  Mile  Helene 
Smith  imagined  she  was  an  inhabitant  of  the  planet 
Mars,  and  spoke  a  fabricated  language.  In  these 
states  the  same  systems  of  ideas  invariably  ap- 
peared. 

2.  In  consequence  of  this  principle  of  systematiza- 
tion  it  is  in  our  power  by  educational  suggestion  in 
hypnosis  to  organize  mental  processes  and  build  com- 
plexes of  the  same  kind  and  in  the  same  way  as  when 
the  subject  is  awake.  In  fact,  it  is  more  readily 
done,  inasmuch  as  in  hypnosis  the  critical  judg- 
ment and  reflection  tend  to  be  suspended.  The  sug- 
gested ideas  are  accepted  and  education  more  easily 
accomplished.  While  in  hypnosis  the  individual 
may  thus  be  made  to  accept  and  hold  new  beliefs, 
new  judgments,  in  short,  new  knowledge.*  After 
waking  he  may  or  may  not  remember  his  hypnotic 
experiences.  Generally  he  does.  If  he  does  the  new 
knowledge,  if  firmly  organized  (by  repetition  and 
strong  affective  tones)  is  still  retained,  and  if  ac- 
cepted (i.  e.,  not  repressed  by  conflicting  ideas) 
shapes  his  views  and  conduct  in  accordance  there- 

*  Provided,  of  course,  this  new  knowledge  is  justified  and  not 
contradicted  by  the  facts  and  principles  of  life.  In  other  words,  it 
must  be  believed,  at  least,  to  be  the  truth. 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  305 

with.  Even  if  his  hypnotic  experiences  are  not  re- 
membered, they  still  belong  to  his  personality,  inas- 
much as  they  are  neurographically  conserved,  and, 
experience  shows,  may  still  influence  his  stream  of 
consciousness.  His  views  are  modified  by  his  uncon- 
scious personality.  His  ideas  may  and  generally  do 
awaken  the  neurograms  of  associated  systems  cre- 
ated in  hypnosis.  Not  remembering  the  hypnotic 
state  as  a  whole  he  does  not  remember  the  origin  of 
his  new  knowledge;  that  is  all. 

One  point  to  be  borne  in  mind  is  that  conserved 
ideas,  whether  we  can  recall  them  or  not,  so  long  as 
they  are  conserved  are  a  part  of  our  personality,  as 
I  have  previously  pointed  out,  and  ideas  can  emerge 
from  the  unconscious  into  the  field  of  the  conscious 
though  we  have  completely  forgotten  their  origin. 
It  requires  but  a  single  experiment  in  the  induction 
of  suggested  post-hypnotic  phenomena  to  demon- 
strate these  principles. 

3.  As  to  those  pathological  states  where  there  is  a 
splitting  of  personality — hysterical  crises,  psycho- 
leptic  attacks,  trance  states,  certain  types  of  epi- 
lepsy, etc. — complexes  may  similarly  be  formed  in 
them.  In  these  conditions  there  is  a  dissociation  of 
a  large  part  of  the  normal  mental  life,  and  that 
which  is  left  is  only  a  limited  field  of  consciousness. 
A  new  synthesis  comes  into  being  out  of  the  uncon- 
scious to  represent  the  personal  self.  Though  the 
content  of  consciousness  is  a  reproduction  of,  or  de- 
termined by  certain  previous  experiences,  it  is  also 
true  that  in  these  states  new  experiences  may  result 


306  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

in  new  complexes  which  then  take  part  in  the  per- 
sonality as  with  hypnotic  experiences. 

Personality  as  the  survival  of  organized  antecedent  expe- 
riences— Of  course  all  our  past  mental  experiences 
do  not  persist  as  organized  complexes.  The  latter, 
after  they  have  served  their  purpose,  tend  to  become 
disaggregated,  just  as  printer's  type  is  disaggre- 
gated or  distributed  after  it  has  served  its  purpose 
in  printing.  In  the  organization  and  development  of 
personality  the  elements  of  the  mental  experiences 
become  sifted,  as  it  were.  Normally,  in  the  adapta- 
tion of  the  individual  to  the  environment,  the  unes- 
sential and  useless,  the  intermediate  steps  leading 
to  the  final  and  useful,  tend  to  drop  out  without  leav- 
ing surviving  residua,  while  the  essential  and  useful 
tend  to  remain  as  memories  capable  of  recall.  In 
the  unconscious  these  remain  more  or  less  perma- 
nently fixed  as  limited  ideas,  sentiments,  and  sys- 
tems of  complexes.  Further,  those  complexes  of  ex- 
periences which  persist  not  only  provide  the  mate- 
rial for  our  memories,  but  tend,  consciously  or  un- 
consciously, to  shape  the  judgments,  beliefs,  convic- 
tions, habits,  and  tendencies  of  our  mental  lives. 
Whence  they  came,  how  they  were  born,  we  have 
long  ceased  to  remember.  We  often  arrive  at  con- 
clusions which  we  imagine  in  our  ignorance  we  have 
constructed  at  the  moment  unaided  out  of  our  in- 
ner consciousness.  In  one  sense  this  is  true,  but 
that  inner  consciousness  has  been  largely  deter- 
mined by  the  vestiges  furnished  by  forgotten  expe- 


UNCONSCIOUS   COMPLEXES  307 

riences.  Many  of  these  we  imbibed  from  our  envir- 
onment and  the  experiences  of  our  fellows;  in  this 
sense  we  are  all  plagiarists  of  the  past. 

Furthermore,  we  react,  to  a  large  extent,  to  our 
environment  in  a  way  that  we  do  not  thoroughly 
understand  because  these  reactions  are  determined 
by  the  impulses  of  unconscious  complexes  organ- 
ized with  innate  dispositions.  Indeed,  our  reac- 
tions to  the  environment,  our  moral  and  social  con- 
duct, the  affective  reactions  of  our  sentiments,  in- 
stincts, feelings,  and  other  conative  tendencies,  our 
"habits,"  judgments,  points  of  view,  and  attitudes 
of  mind — all  that  we  term  character  and  personality 
— are  predetermined  by  the  mental  experiences  of 
the  past  by  which  they  are  developed,  organized,  and 
conserved  in  the  unconscious.  Otherwise  all  would 
be  chaos.  We  are  thus  the  offspring  of  our  past  and 
the  past  is  the  present. 

This  same  principle  underlies  what  is  called  the 
"social  conscience,"  the  "civic"  and  "national  con- 
science," patriotism,  public  opinion,  what  the  Ger- 
mans call  "  Sittlichkeit, "  the  war  attitude  of  mind, 
etc.  All  these  mental  attitudes  may  be  reduced  to 
common  habits  of  thought  and  conduct  derived  from 
mental  experiences  common  to  a  given  community 
and  conserved  as  complexes  in  the  unconscious  of 
the  several  individuals  of  the  community.* 

*  While  these  pages  were  in  press,  Lord  Haldane  in  hia  Montreal 
address  (before  the  American  Bar  Association),  which  has  attracted 
wide  attention,  developed  the  psychological  principle  of  "Sitttich- 


308  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Through  education,  whether  scholastic,  voca- 
tional, or  social,  we  inherit  the  experiences  of  our 
predecessors  and  become  "  .  .  .  the  heir  of  all  the 
ages,  in  the  foremost  files  of  time."  But  the  con- 
ceptions of  one  age  can  never  represent  those  of  a 
preceding  age.  The  veriest  layman  in  science  to- 

keit, "  as  applied  to  communities,  the  nation  and  groups  of  nations. 
By  "  Sittlichkeit "  is  meant  the  social  habit  of  mind  and  action 
underlying  social  customs,  the  instinctive  sense  of  social  obligation 
which  is  the  foundation  of  society.  This  plainly  includes  what  is 
often  called  the  social  conscience  and  actions  impelled  thereby.  In 
further  definition  of  this  principle  Lord  Haldane  quotes  Fichte  as 
stating  "Sittlichkeit"  to  mean  "those  principles  of  conduct  which 
regulate  people  in  their  relations  to  each  other,  and  have  become 
matter  of  habit  and  second  nature  at  the  stage  of  culture  reached, 
and  of  which,  therefore,  we  are  not  explicitly  conscious. ' '  The  point 
was  made  that  the  citizen  is  governed  "only  to  a  small  extent  by 
law  and  legality  on  the  one  hand,  and  by  the  dictates  of  the  indi- 
vidual conscience  on  the  other."  It  is  the  more  extensive  system  of 
"Sittlichkeit"  which  plays  the  predominant  role.  Out  of  this  sys- 
tem there  develops  a  unity  of  thought  and  "a  common  ideal"  which 
can  be  made  to  penetrate  the  soul  of  a  people  and  to  take  complete 
possession  of  it.  Likewise  there  develops  "a  general  will  with  which 
the  will  of  the  good  citizen  is  in  accord."  This  will  of  the  com- 
munity (inspired  by  the  common  ideal)  is  common  to  the  indi- 
viduals composing  it.  Lord  Haldane  goes  on  to  make  the  point  that 
what  is  now  true  within  a  single  nation  may  in  time  come  to  be 
true  between  nations  or  a  group  of  nations.  Thus  an  international 
habit  of  looking  to  common  ideals  may  grow  up  sufficiently  strong 
to  develop  a  general  will,  and  to  make  the  binding  power  of  those 
ideas  a  reliable  sanction  for  their  obligations  to  each  other.  With 
this  thesis,  ably  presented  and  fortified  though  it  be,  we  are  not 
here  concerned.  The  point  I  wish  to  make  is  that  this  conception  of 
"  Sittlichkeit "  which  Lord  Haldane  in  his  remarkable  address,  des- 
tined I  believe  to  become  historic,  so  ably  develops  and  applies  to 
the  solution  of  a  world-problem  is  in  psychological  terms  identical 
with  that  of  complexes  of  ideas  and  affects  organized  in  the  un- 
conscious. 


UNCONSCIOUS    COMPLEXES  309 

day  could  not  entertain  the  conceptions  underlying 
many  hypotheses  formulated  by  the  wisest  of  the 
preceding  age — of  a  Galileo,  a  Descartes,  or  Pascal. 
Lucretius,  in  the  first  century  B.  C.,  argued,  with 
what  for  the  time  was  great  force,  that  the  soul  of 
man  was  corporeal  and  that  it  "must  consist  of  very 
small  seeds  and  be  inwoven  through  veins  and  flesh 
and  sinews ;  inasmuch  as,  after  it  has  all  withdrawn 
from  the  whole  body  the  exterior  contour  of  the 
limbs  preserves  itself  entire  and  not  a  tittle  of  the 
weight  is  lost." 

Lucretius  gave  much  thought  to  this  problem,  but 
to-day  the  least  cultured  person,  who  has  never  re- 
flected at  all  on  psychological  matters,  would  rec- 
ognize the  foolishness  of  such  a  conception  and  re- 
ject the  hypothesis.*  He  would  call  it  common-sense 
which  guided  him,  but  common-sense  depends  upon 
the  fact  that  in  the  unconscious  lie  memories,  the 
reasons  for  and  origin  of  which  we  do  not  remem- 
ber; these  nullify  such  an  hypothesis.  These  con- 
tradicting ideas,  sifted  out  of  those  belonging  to  the 
social  education,  have  become  fixed  as  dormant  or 
organized  memories,  and  determine  the  judgments 
and  trends  of  the  personal  consciousness.  These 
memory  vestiges  may  work  for  good  or  evil,  shape 

*  Professor  G.  S.  Fuller-ton,  in  the  course  of  an  essay,  ' '  Is  the 
Mind  in  the  Body?"  interestingly  refers  to  this  fact  and  points  out 
that  common  sense  directs  the  common  man  in  repudiating  ancient 
doctrines,  and  that  it  is  "part  of  his  share  in  the  heritage  of  the 
race. "  ' '  The  common  sense  which  guides  men  is  the  resultant  atti- 
tude due  to  many  influences,  some  of  them  dating  very  far  back 
indeed."  The  Popular  Science  Monthly,  May,  1907. 


310  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

our  personal  consciousness  into  a  useful  or  useless 
form,  one  that  adapts  or  unfits  the  organism  to  its 
environment.  In  the  latter  case  they  drive  the  or- 
ganism into  the  field  of  pathological  psychology. 


LECTURE   X 

THE    MEANING    OF    IDEAS    AS    DETERMINED    BY 
SETTINGS 

In  the  preceding  lecture  when  describing  the  or- 
ganization of  emotional  complexes,  I  mentioned, 
somewhat  incidentally,  that  their  fuller  meaning 
was  to  be  found  in  antecedent  experiences  of  life; 
and  that  these  experiences  conserved  in  the  uncon- 
scious formed  a  setting  that  gave  the  point  of  view 
and  attitude  of  mind.  It  was  pointed  out  also  that 
if  we  wish  to  know  the  reason  why  a  given  experi- 
ence, like  that  of  Voltaire  with  Frederick,  awakens 
a  strong  emotional  reaction,  and  why  the  memory  of 
this  experience  continues  persistently  organized 
with  the  emotion  or  gives  rise  to  the  emotional  re- 
action whenever  stimulated,  we  must  look  to  this  set- 
ting of  antecedent  experiences  which  gives  the  ideas 
of  the  complexes  meaning.  We  need  now  to  inquire 
to  what  extent  the  unconscious  complex  in  which  the 
setting  has  roots  may  take  part  in  the  process  which 
gives  meaning  to  an  idea.  It  is  a  problem  in 
psycho  genesis  and  psychological  mechanisms.  As 
an  imperatively  recurring  emotional  complex  is  an 
obsession  the  full  meaning  of  any  given  obsession  is 
involved  in  the  psychological  problem  of  "Idea  and 
Meaning. ' ' 

311 


312  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Let  us,  then,  take  up  for  discussion  this  latter 
problem  as  preliminary  to  the  study  of  that  impor- 
tant psychosis — obsessing  ideas  and  emotions. 

A  perception,  or,  what  is  in  principle  the  same 
thing,  an  idea  of  an  object,  although  apparently  a 
simple  thing,  is  really,  as  a  rule,  a  complex  affair. 
Without  attempting  to  enter  deeply  into  the  psychol- 
ogy of  perception  (and  ideas),  and  particularly  into 
the  conventional  conception  of  perception  as  usu- 
ally expounded  in  the  text-books — a  conception 
which  to  my  mind  is  inadequate  and  incomplete  * — 
it  is  sufficient  for  our  immediate  purposes  to  point 
out  in  a  general  rough  way  the  following  facts  con- 
cerning perception. 

Perception  a  synthesis  of  primary  and  secondary  images. 
— Perception  may  be  regarded  both  as  a  process 
and  as  a  group  of  conscious  elements  some  of 
which  are  within  the  focus  of  attention  or  aware- 
ness and  some  of  which  are  outside  this  focus.  As 
a  process  it  undoubtedly  may  include  much  that  is 
entirely  subconscious  and  therefore  without  con- 
scious equivalents,  and  much  that  appears  in  con- 
sciousness. As  a  group  of  conscious  elements  it  is 
a  fusion,  amalgamation,  or  compounding  of  many 
elements. 

*  In  that  it  takes  into  account  only  a  limited  number  of  the 
data  at  our  disposal  and  neglects  methods  of  investigation  which 
afford  data  essential  for  the  understanding  of  this  psychological 
process. 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  313 

My  perception  of  X.,  for  example,  whom  I  recog- 
nize as  an  acquaintance,  is  much  more  than  a  clus- 
ter of  visual  sensations — I  mean  the  sensations  of 
color  and  form  that  come  from  the  stimulation  of  my 
retina.  Besides  these  sensations  it  includes  a  num- 
ber of  imaginal  memory  images  some  of  which  are 
only  in  the  fringe  of  consciousness  and  can  only  be 
recognized  by  introspection  or  under  special  condi- 
tions. These  secondary  images,  as  they  are  called, 
may  be  (as  they  most  often  are)  visual,  orienting 
him  in  space  and  in  past  associative  relations,  ac- 
cording to  my  previous  experiences;  they  may  be 
auditory — the  imaginal  sound  of  his  voice  or  verbal 
images  of  his  name;  or  they  may  be  the  so-called 
kinesthetic  images,  etc. ;  and  all  these  images  supple- 
ment the  actual  visual  sensations  of  color  and  form. 

That  such  images  take  part  in  perception  is  of 
course  well  recognized  in  every  text-book  on  psy- 
chology where  they  will  be  found  described.  It  is 
easy  to  become  aware  of  them  under  certain  condi- 
tions. For  instance,  to  take  an  auditory  perception 
from  every-day  life,  you  are  listening  through  the 
telephone  and  hear  a  strange  voice  speaking.  Aside 
from  the  meaning  of  the  words  you  are  conscious  of 
little  more  than  auditory  sensations  although  you  do 
perceive  them  as  those  of  a  human  voice  and  not  of 
a  phonograph.  Then  of  a  sudden  you  recognize  the 
voice  as  that  of  an  acquaintance.  Instantly  visual 
images  of  his  face,  and  perhaps  of  the  room  in  which 
he  is  speaking  and  his  situation  therein,  of  the  fur- 
nishings of  the  room,  etc.,  become  associated  with 


314  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

the  voice.  Your  perception  of  the  voice  now  takes 
on  a  fuller  meaning  in  accordance  with  these  imag- 
inal  images.  In  such  an  experience,  common  prob- 
ably to  everybody,  the  secondary  images  which  take 
part  in  perception  are  unusually  clear  and  easily  de- 
tected. 

Again,  let  us  take  a  visual  perception.  You  meet 
face  to  face  a  person  whom  at  first  sight  seems  unfa- 
miliar ;  then  in  a  flash  visual  images  of  a  scene  in  a 
room  where  you  first  met,  verbal  images  of  his  name, 
and  the  sound  of  his  voice  rush  into  consciousness. 
The  comparatively  simple  perception  of  a  man  has 
now  given  place  to  a  more  complex  perception  (ap- 
perception) of  an  acquaintance  and  has  acquired  a 
new  meaning.  This  new  meaning  is  in  part  due  to 
these  images  which  have  supplemented  the  visual 
sensations;  but  it  is  also  due  to  the  cooperation  of 
another  and  important  factor — the  context — which  I 
will  presently  consider. 

Another  situation  of  every-day  life  in  which  we 
become  aware  of  the  images  is  when  riding  in  a 
street  car  at  night  we  look  out  of  the  window  and 
fail  to  recognize  the  individual  buildings  as  we  pass 
them  though  we  perceive  them  as  houses.  The 
neighborhood  being  obscured  by  darkness,  the 
buildings  have  no  meaning  from  the  point  of  view 
of  their  uses,  proprietorship,  locality,  etc.,  but  only 
from  an  architectural  point  of  view.  Then  sud- 
denly, by  some  apparently  subconscious  process, 
visual  memory  images  of  the  unseen  neighborhood 
(hidden  in  darkness),  and  of  the  interior  of  the 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  315 

buildings,  flash  into  consciousness  in  conjunction 
with  the  actual  visual  pictures  of  the  buildings.  In 
imagination  we  at  once  see  the  locality  and  recog- 
nize (or  apperceive)  the  buildings  which  acquire  a 
new  meaning  as  particular  shops,  which  we  have 
often  entered,  located  in  a  particular  locality,  etc. 

Again,  take  a  tactual  perception:  If  you  close 
your  eyes  and  touch,  say  a  point  on  your  left  hand, 
with  your  finger,  you  not  only  perceive  the  touch  but 
you  perceive  the  exact  spot  that  you  touched.  Your 
perception  includes  localization.  Now  if  you  fix 
your  attention  and  introspect  carefully  you  will  find 
that  you  visualize  your  hand  and  see,  more  or  less 
vividly,  the  point  touched  (and  the  touching  finger). 
If  you  draw  a  figure  on  the  hand  you  will  visualize 
that  figure.  That  is  to  say  imaginal  visual  images 
of  the  hand,  figure,  etc.,  enter  into  the  tactual  per- 
ceptions. You  will  probably  also  be  able  to  feel 
faint  tactual  "images"  of  the  hand  (joints,  fingers, 
etc.)  which  combine  with  the  visualization.*  The 
whole  complex  is  the  perception  proper. 

The  images  which  take  part  in  actual  perception, 

*  It  is  of  interest  to  note  again  in  this  connection  that  these 
secondary  images  may  emerge  from  a  subconscious  process  to  form 
the  structure  of  an  hallucination.  Various  facts  of  observation 
which  I  have  collected  support  the  thesis  advanced  by  Sidis  (loc. 
cit.)  on  theoretical  grounds  "that  hallucinations  are  synthesized 
compounds  of  secondary  sensory  elements  dissociated  completely  or 
incompletely  from  their  primary  elements."  It  would  carry  us  too 
far  away  from  our  theme  to  consider  here  this  problem  of  special 
pathology.  Sidis  further  insists  that  hallucinations  are  not  central, 
but  always  "are  essentially  of  peripheral  origin,"  a  view  which,  it 
seems  to  me,  is  incompatible  with  numerous  facts  of  observation. 


316  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

or  in  ideas  of  objects,  vary  with  the  mode  of  per- 
ception (whether  visual,  auditory,  tactile,  etc.)  and 
with  objects,  and  in  different  people.  Beading,  or 
the  perception  of  words,  is  in  many  people  accom- 
panied by  the  sound  of  the  words  or  kinesthetic  im- 
ages of  words.  If  the  printed  words  are  those  of  a 
person  whose  voice  is  familiar  to  us  we  may  actu- 
ally hear  his  voice.*  General  kinesthetic  images 
may  occur  in  perception,  as  with  objects  which  look 
heavy,  i.  e.,  have  secondary  tactual  sensations  of 
heaviness.  Likewise  tactile  and  olfactory  images 
may  enter  the  perceptual  field  and  supplement  the 
visual  sensations.  When  the  sensational  experi- 
ences of  perception  are  tactile,  auditory,  olfactory, 
or  gustatory  visual  images  probably  always  take 
part  in  the  perceptual  field  if  the  object  is  perceived 
as,  e.  g.,  the  perception  of  velvet  by  touch  and  of 
an  orange  by  smell.  Summing  all  this  up  we  may 
say,  using  Titchener's  words:  "perceptions  are  se- 
lected groups  of  sensations  in  which  images  are  in- 
corporated as  an  integral  part  of  the  whole  proc- 
ess." We  may  further  say  the  secondary  images 
give  meaning  to  sensations  in  forming  a  perception. 

Now,  before  proceeding  further  in  this  exposition, 
I  would  point  out  that  if  memory  images  are  habitu- 
ally synthesized  with  sensations  to  form  a  given  per- 
ception, and  if  perception  is  a  matter  of  synthesis, 

*  I  once  dictated  into  a  phonograph  a  passage  of  a  published 
work.  Whenever  I  read  that  passage  now  I  hear  the  sound  of  my 
own  voice  as  it  was  emitted  by  the  phonograph. 


THE    MEANING    OF    IDEAS  317 

then,  theoretically,  it  ought  to  be  possible  to  dis- 
sociate these  images.  Further,  in  that  case,  the  per- 
ception as  such  ought  to  disappear.  That  this  the- 
oretical assumption  correctly  represents  the  facts  I 
have  been  able  to  demonstrate  by  the  following  ex- 
periment which  I  have  repeated  many  times.  I 
should  first  explain  that  it  has  been  shown  by  Janet 
that  by  certain  technical  procedures  some  hysterics 
can  be  distracted  in  such  a  way  that  the  experimen- 
ter's  voice  is  not  consciously  heard  by  them,  but  is 
heard  and  understood  subconsciously.  The  ordi- 
nary procedure  is  to  whisper  to  the  subject  while  his 
attention  is  focused  on  something  else.  The  whis- 
per undoubtedly  acts  as  a  suggestion  that  the  sub- 
ject will  not  consciously  hear  what  is  whispered. 
The  whispered  word-images  are  accordingly  disso- 
ciated, but  are  perceived  coconsciously,  and  what- 
ever coconsciousness  exists  can  be  in  this  way  sur- 
reptitiously communicated  with  and  responses  ob- 
tained without  the  knowledge  of  the  personal  con- 
sciousness. In  this  way  I  have  been  able  to  make 
numerous  observations  showing  the  presence  of  dis- 
sociated coconscious  complexes  which  otherwise 
would  not  have  been  suspected.  Now  the  experi- 
ment which  I  am  about  to  cite  was  made  for  the 
purpose  of  determining  whether  certain  experiences 
for  which  the  subject  had  amnesia  were  cocon- 
sciously remembered,  but  the  results  obtained,  be- 
sides giving  affirmative  evidence  on  this  point,  fur- 
nished certain  instructive  facts  indicative  of  the  dis- 
sociation of  secondary  images. 


318  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

The  subject,  Miss  B.,  was  in  the  state  known  as 
BlVa,  an  hypnotic  state,  her  eyes  closed.  While 
she  was  conversing  with  me  on  a  subject  which  held 
her  attention  I  whispered  in  her  ear  with  the  view  of 
communicating  with  coconscious  ideas  as  above  ex- 
plained. While  I  was  whispering,  she  remarked, 
"Where  have  you  gone?"  and  later  asked  why  I 
went  away  and  what  I  kept  coming  and  going  for. 
On  examination  it  then  appeared  that  it  seemed  to 
her  that  during  the  moments  when  I  whispered  in 
her  ear  I  had  gone  away.  That  is  to  say,  she  could 
no  longer  visualize  my  body,  the  secondary  imagi- 
nal  visual  images  being  dissociated  with  my  whis- 
pered words.  At  these  times,  however,  she  continued 
the  conversation  and  was  not  at  all  in  a  dreamy 
state.  Testing  her  tactile  sense  it  was  found  that 
there  was  no  dissociation  of  this  sense  during  these 
moments.  She  felt  tactile  impressions  while  she 
was  not  hearing  my  voice,  but  she  explained  after- 
wards [while  whispering,  of  course,  I  could  not  ask 
questions  regarding  sensations  aloud]  that  when  I 
touched  her,  and  when  she  held  my  hand,  palpating 
it  in  a  curious  way  as  if  trying  to  make  out  what  it 
was,  she  felt  the  tactile  impressions,  or  tactile  sen- 
sations, but  not  naturally.  It  appeared  as  the  re- 
sult of  further  observations  that  this  feeling  of 
unnaturalness  and  strangeness  was  due  to  a  dis- 
sociation of  the  secondary  visual  images  which  nor- 
mally occur  with  the  tactile  images.  (She  described 
the  tactile  impressions  of  my  hand  as  similar  to 
those  she  felt  when  she  lifted  her  own  hand  when  it 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  319 

had  "gone  to  sleep";  it  felt  dead  and  heavy  as  if 
it  belonged  to  no  one  in  particular. 

Testing  further  it  was  found  that,  before  abstrac- 
tion, while  she  held  my  hand  she  could  definitely 
visualize  my  hand,  arm,  and  even  face.  While  she 
was  thus  visualizing  I  again  abstracted  her  auditory 
perceptions  by  the  whispering  process.  At  once  the 
secondary  visual  images  of  my  hand,  etc.,  disap- 
peared. As  with  the  auditory  perceptions  she  could 
not  obtain  these  visual  images,  although  a  moment 
before  she  could  visualize  as  far  as  the  elbow. 

Desiring  now  to  learn  whether  these  dissociated 
visual  images  were  perceived  coconsciously  I  whis- 
pered, at  the  same  time  holding  her  hand,  "Do  you 
see  my  hand,  arm,  and  face  ? ' '  She  nodded  (automa- 
tically) "Yes."  "Does  she  [meaning  the  personal 
consciousness]  see  them?"  (Answer  by  nod)  "No." 
(The  personal  consciousness  (BlVa)  was  unaware 
of  the  questions  and  nodding;  the  latter  was  per- 
formed subconsciously.) 

This  experiment  was  repeated  several  times.  As 
often  as  she  ceased  to  hear  my  voice  she  ceased  to 
visualize  my  hand,  though  she  could  feel  it  without 
recognizing  it.  It  follows,  therefore,  that  the  dis- 
sociation of  the  auditory  perceptions  of  my  voice 
having  also  robbed  the  subject's  personal  conscious- 
ness of  all  visual  images  of  my  body,  her  previous 
tactual  perception  of  my  hand  lost  thereby  its  vis- 
ual images  and  ceased  to  be  a  perception. 

Let  us  take  another  observation:  We  have  seen 
that  a  tactual  perception  of  the  body  includes  sec- 


320  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ondary  imaginal  visual  and  other  sensory  images 
besides  the  tactile  sensation.  Now,  of  course,  if 
sensation  is  dissociated  so  that  one  has  complete 
anesthesia,  no  tactile  sensation  can  be  perceived. 
Under  such  conditions  an  anesthetic  person  theo- 
retically might  not  be  able  to  imagine  the  dissociated 
tactile  sensations  and  the  associated  visual  images 
included  in  tactile  perception.  If  so  such  a  person 
would  not  be  able  to  visualize  his  body.  In  other 
words,  in  accordance  with  the  well-known  principle 
that  the  dissociation  of  a  specific  memory  robs  the 
personal  consciousness  of  other  elements  of  experi- 
ences synthesized  with  the  specific  memory,  the  dis- 
sociation of  the  tactile  images  carries  with  it  the 
visual  images  associated  in  perception.  This  theo- 
retical proposition  is  confirmed  by  actual  observa- 
tion. Thus  B.  C.  A.  in  one  hypnotic  state  has  gen- 
eral anesthesia,  so  complete  that  she  has  no  con- 
sciousness of  her  body  whatsoever.  She  does  not 
know  whether  she  is  standing  or  sitting,  nor  the 
attitude  of  her  limbs,  or  her  location  in  space;  she 
is  simply  thought  in  space.  Now  it  is  found  that  she 
can  visualize  the  experimenter,  the  room,  and  the 
objects  in  the  room  although  she  cannot  visualize 
any  part  of  her  own  body.  The  dissociation  of  the 
tactual  field  of  consciousness  is  so  complete  that  she 
cannot  evoke  imaginal  tactual  images  of  the  body, 
and  this  dissociation  of  these  images  carries  with  it 
that  of  the  associated  imaginal  visual  images.  Vis- 
ual images  of  the  environment,  however,  not  being 
synthesized  with  the  tactual  body  images,  can  be  still 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  321 

evoked.  So  we  see  from  observations  based  on  in- 
trospection and  experimentation  that  perception  in- 
cludes, besides  primary  simple  sensations  of  an  ob- 
ject, secondary  imaginal  images  of  various  kinds 
and  in  various  numbers. 

Besides  images  the    content  of  ideas    includes     "Mean- 
/   i" — What  I  have  said  thus  far  refers  to  per- 

'A" 

., '  f  an  o^Mid  idea  as  the  content  of  consciousness 

*\  * 

—a  group  of  conscious  states.  But  this  is  not  all 
when  perception  is  regarded  as  a  process.  The  ob- 
jects of  experience  have  associative  relations  to 
other  objects,  actions,  conduct,  stimuli,  constellated 
ideas,  etc.,  i.  e.,  past  experiences  represented  by 
conserved  (unconscious)  complexes.  As  a  result  of 
previous  experiences  various  associations  have  been 
organized  with  ideas  and  these  complexes  form  the 
setting  or  the  " context"  (Tichener)  which  gives 
ideas  meaning.  As  the  secondary  images  give  mean- 
ing to  sensations  to  form  ideas  (or  perceptions),  so 
these  associated  complexes  as  settings  give  meaning 
to  ideas.  This  setting  in  more  general  terms  may  be 
regarded  as  the  attitude  of  mind,  point  of  view,  in- 
terest, etc.  Just  as  the  context  in  a  printed  sentence 
gives  meaning  to  a  given  word,  and  determines 
which  of  two  or  more  ideas  it  is  meant  to  be  the  sign 
of,  so  in  the  process  of  all  perceptions  the  associated 
ideas  give  meaning  to  the  perception.  Indeed  it  is 
probable  that  the  context  as  a  process  determines 
what  images  shall  become  incorporated  with  sensa- 
tions to  form  the  nucleus  of  the  perception.  Percep- 


322  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tion  thus  takes  one  meaning  when  it  is  constellated 
with  one  complex  and  another  meaning  when  con- 
stellated with  another  complex. 

" Meaning"  plays  such  an  important  part  in  the 
mental  reactions  of  pathological  and  everyday  life 
that  I  feel  we  must  study  it  a  little  more  closely  be- 
fore proceeding  with  our  theme. 

The  idea  horse  *  as  the  content  of  consciousness 
includes  more  than  the  primary  and  second  jn~  0^- 
sory  images  which  constitute  a  perception  v .  •  «m 
animal  with  four  legs  distinguished  anatomically 
from  other  animals :  The  idea  includes  the  meaning 
of  a  particular  kind  of  animal  possessing  certain 
functions,  useful  for  particular  purposes  and  occu- 
pying a  particular  place  in  civilization,  etc.  We 
are  distinctly  conscious  of  this  meaning;  and  al- 

*  I  intentionally  do  not  here  say  idea  of  a  horse  because  the  use 
of  the  preposition  (while,  of  course,  correctly  used  to  distinguish 
horse  as  an  idea  from  a  material  horse,  or  the  former  as  a  particu- 
lar idea  among  ideas  in  general)  has  led,  as  it  seems  to  me,  in- 
sidiously to  specious  reasoning.  Thus  Mr.  Hoernle'  (Image,  Idea  and 
Meaning,  Mind,  January,  1907)  argues  that  every  idea  has  a  mean- 
ing because  every  idea  is  an  idea  of  some  thing.  Although  this  is 
true  in  a  descriptive  sense,  psychologically  idea-of-a-horse  is  a  com- 
pound term  and  an  imagined  horse.  The  idea  itself  is  horse.  The 
speciousness  of  the  reasoning  appears  when  we  substitute  horse  for 
idea;  then  the  phrase  would  read,  a  "horse  is  always  a  horse  of 
something."  I  agree,  of  course,  that  every  idea  has  a  meaning,  but 
not  to  this  particular  reasoning  by  which  the  conclusion  is  reached, 
as  when,  for  example,  Mr.  Hoernle  when  traversing  James'  theory 
cites  "image  of  the  breakfast  table"  to  denote  that  the  breakfast 
table  is  the  meaning  of  the  image.  The  image  is  the  (imagined) 
breakfast  table.  They  are  not  different  things  as  are  leg  and  chair 
in  the  phrase,  "leg  of  the  chair,"  where  chair  plainly  gives  the 
meaning  to  leg. 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  323 

though  we  may  abstract  more  or  less  successfully 
the  visual  image  of  the  animal  from  the  meaning, 
and  attend  to  the  former  alone,  the  result  is  an  arti- 
fact. Likewise  we  may  as  an  artifice  abstract,  to  a 
large  degree,  the  meaning  from  the  image,  keeping 
the  latter  in  the  background,  and  attend  to  the  mean- 
ing. 

That  meaning — just  as  much  as  the  sensory  image 
of  an  object — is  part  of  the  conscious  content  of  an 
idea  becomes  apparent  at  once,  the  moment  the 
setting  becomes  altered  and  an  object  is  collocated 
with  a  new  set  of  experiences  (knowledge  regarding 
it).  X,  for  example,  has  been  known  to  the  world 
as  a  pious,  god-fearing,  moral  man,  a  teacher  of  the 
Christian  religion.  My  perception  of  him,  so  far 
as  made  up  of  images,  is,  properly  speaking,  that 
which  distinguishes  him  anatomically  from  other 
men  of  my  acquaintance,  that  by  which  I  recognize 
him  as  X  and  not  as  Y.  But  my  perception  also  has 
a  distinctly  conscious  meaning,  that  of  a  Christian 
man.  This  meaning  also  distinguishes  him  in  his 
qualities  from  other  men.  Now  it  transpires  to 
every  one's  astonishment  that  X  is  a  foul,  cruel, 
murderer  of  women — a  Jack-the-Eipper.  My  per- 
ception of  him  is  the  same  but  it  has  acquired  an 
entirely  different  meaning.  A  bestial,  villainous 
meaning  has  replaced  the  Christian  meaning.  So 
almost  all  objects  have  different  meanings  in  differ- 
ent persons '  minds,  or  at  different  times  in  the  same 
person's  mind,  according  to  the  settings  (experi- 
ences) with  which  they  are  collocated.  My  percep- 


324  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

tion  of  A  has  the  meaning  of  physician,  while  one 
of  his  family  perceives  him  as  father  or  husband. 
My  perception  of  a  snake,  it  may  be,  has  the  mean- 
ing of  a  loathsome,  venomous  animal,  while  a  natur- 
alist's perception  may  be  that  of  a  vertebrate  repre- 
senting a  certain  stage  of  evolution,  and  a  psycholo- 
gist holding  certain  theories  may  perceive  it  with 
a  meaning  given  by  those  theories,  viz. :  as  a  sexual 
symbol. 

This  fact  of  meaning  becomes  still  more  obvious 
when  we  reflect  that  the  meaning  of  a  perception,  as 
of  A's  personality  as  a  physician  or  father,  may 
occupy  the  focus  of  attention  while  the  images  of 
his  face,  voice,  etc.,  may  sink  into  the  background. 

Every  one  is  agreed  then  that  every  idea  or  com- 
bination of  ideas  has  " meaning"  of  some  sort. 
Even  nonsense  syllables  have  in  a  psychological 
sense  some  meaning,  which  may  be  an  alliteration  of 
sound,  or  a  symbolism  of  nonsense  (e.  g.,  "fol-de- 
rol-di-rol-dol-day")  or  as  suitable  tests  for  psy- 
chological experiments.  I  am  speaking  now,  of 
course,  of  meaning  as  dealt  with  by  psychology  as 
a  content  of  consciousness,  and  not  as  dealt  with 
by  logic.  Every  one  also  will  probably  agree  that 
the  content  of  an  idea  is  a  composite  of  sensory 
elements  (images)  and  meaning — I  would  like  to 
say  of  perception  and  meaning;  but  the  use  of  two 
abstract  terms  is  likely  to  lead  to  a  juggling  with 
words  by  turning  attention  away  from  the  concrete 
facts  for  which  the  terms  stand,  and  by  connoting  a 
sharp  distinction  between  perception  and  meaning 


THE    MEANING   OF   IDEAS  325 

which,  as  I  observe  the  facts,  does  not  hold.  Indeed 
the  common  though  useful  habit  of  psychologists  of 
treating  meaning  as  an  abstract  symbol  without 
specific  reference  to  those  elements  of  the  content 
of  consciousness  for  which  it  stands  has,  it  seems 
to  me,  led  to  considerable  confusion  of  thought. 

Mr.  Hoernle,  who  has  given  us  one  of  the  clearest 
expositions  of  idea  and  meaning  that  I  have  read,* 
designates  that  constituent  of  an  idea  which  is  the 
psychical  image  of  an  object  (e.  g.,  "the  visual  per- 
ception of  a  horse  " )  by  the  term  ' '  sign. "  ' '  Signs, ' ' 
he  states  "are  always  sensational  in  nature,  whether 
they  are  actual  sensations  (as  in  sense-perception) 
or  ideas  (images  or  'revived'  sensations)."  Accord- 
ingly an  idea  is  a  composite  of  sign  and  meaning, 
or,  as  Mr.  Hoernle  has  well  expressed  it:  "Both  the 
idea  f  and  its  meaning,  then,  must  be  present  in  con- 
sciousness. Or  perhaps  it  would  be  more  accurate 
to  say  that  they  form  together  a  complex  psychical 
whole,  a  'psychosis,'  of  which  the  different  elements, 
however,  enjoy  different  degrees  of  prominence  in 
consciousness  or  draw  upon  themselves  different 
amounts  of  attention.  .  .  .  Normally  we  apperceive 
merely  the  meaning,  and  the  image  or  sign  remains 
in  the  background,  in  the  shade  as  it  were.  But  of 
course  we  can  make  the  image  or  sign  the  special 
object  of  attention;  we  can  apperceive  it  and  corre- 
spondingly the  meaning  falls  into  the  background. 

*  E.  F.  Hoernlg,  Image,  Idea  and  Meaning,  Mind,  January,  1907. 
t  Idea,  according  to  Mr.  Hoernl6  's  context,  is  here  used  in  the 
sense  of  a  word,  image  or  sign. 


326  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

But  it  does  not  disappear ;  it  remains  in  conscious- 
ness. ' '  And  again,  ' '  every  idea  is  a  concrete  whole 
of  sign  and  meaning,  in  which  the  meaning,  even 
when  unanalyzed  and  'implicit'  is  what  is  essential 
and  prominent  in  consciousness.  The  sign  on  the 
other  hand  which  we  saw  reason  to  identify  with 
certain  sensational  elements  in  this  conscious  ex- 
perience is  normally  subordinate  and  I  have  called 
this  concrete  idea  a  ( psychic  whole'  ..." 

I  quote  these  passages  from  Mr.  Hoernle  as  they 
are  admirably  clear  statements  of  the  theory,  but  as 
descriptions  they  are  a  very  incomplete  analysis 
of  the  content  of  ideas,  and  fall  far. short  of  what 
we  require  to  know  when  dealing  with  the  problem 
of  mental  mechanisms.  It  is  all  very  well  to  speak 
of  meaning  in  this  general  way;  but  to  rest  content 
with  such  an  abstract  term  is  to  only  present  the 
problem  and  there  stop  short.  Mr.  Hoernle  rests 
content  with  the  negative  statement  that  meaning 
"does  not  consist  in  images  and  other  words." 
What  then  does  it  consist  in? 

It  must  be  admitted  that  the  problem  is  a  very 
difficult  one  and  therefore  it  is,  I  suppose,  that  most 
psychologists,  as  if  scenting  danger,  seem  to  dodge 
the  question  and  rest  content  to  use  meaning  as  a 
symbol  like  the  unknown  x  and  y  of  algebra.  If 
meaning  is  a  part  of  the  content  of  consciousness 
it  must  be  analyzable  into  specific  conscious  ele- 
ments (images,  thoughts,  words,  feelings  or  what 
not)  representing  to  some  extent  and  in  some  way 
past  experiences. 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  327 

Obviously  a  full  rounded-out  psychology  of  mean- 
ing must  include  an  analysis  of  the  content  of  mean- 
ing.* I  have  no  intention  of  entering  upon  this  task 
here  and  it  is  not  my  business.  It  would,  however, 
be  of  very  great  assistance  in  solving  many  of  the 
problems  of  abnormal  psychology  if  the  psychology 
of  meaning  were  better  worked  out.  But  con- 
versely, I  would  say,  considerable  light  on  the  psy- 
chology of  meaning  can  be  derived  from  the  study 
of  abnormal  conditions,  and  of  the  mental  phenom- 
ena artificially  provoked  by  hypnotic  procedures. 
Some  of  the  observations  which  I  shall  presently 
cite  contribute,  I  believe,  to  this  end. 

Permit  me  also  to  point  out — as  the  point  is  one 
which  has  considerable  bearing  on  our  theme — that 
the  descriptive  statement  that  ideas  are  a  composite 
of  two  distinct  elements,  perception  (images,  signs) 
and  meaning,  is  inadequate  in  another  respect;  it 
is  too  static  and  schematic.  Although  it  is  conve- 
nient to  distinguish  between  perception  and  mean- 
ing, they  shade  into  one  another  and  indeed  there 
does  not  seem  to  be  any  justification  for  regarding 
them  as  other  than  one  dynamic  process.  As  we 
have  seen,  perception  is  made  up  of  a  primary  sen- 
sory image  of  an  object  combined  with  a  number  of 
secondary  images.  This  in  itself  is  a  "psychic 
whole",  and,  as  I  view  it,  contains  meaning.  My 
perception  of  a  watch  contains  secondary  images 

*  Of  course  the  constituents  of  the  content  must  vary  in  each  in- 
dividual instance,  but  the  kind  of  conscious  elements  that  in  general 
give  meaning  to  the  sensory  part  of  the  idea  can  be  determined. 


328  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

which  give  it  the  meaning  of  a  watch  and  make  it 
something  more  than  a  visual  image.  It  may  have  a 
still  larger  and  different  meaning,  that  of  a  souve- 
nir of  a  dead  friend,  and  in  this  larger  meaning  the 
perception  of  the  watch  becomes  subordinate,  as  a 
sign  or  group  of  images,  and  sinks  into  the  back- 
ground, while  the  added  meaning  occupies  the  focus 
of  attention.  Indeed  the  primary  image  of  a  per- 
ception may  sink  into  relative  insignificance  in  the 
background,  while  the  secondary  images  become  all- 
important  and  practically  constitute  the  actual  per- 
ception (or  idea)  as  a  psychic  whole.  Consider,  for 
instance,  what  different  secondary  images  (and 
meaning)  are  in  the  focus  and  how  the  primary 
image  of  the  word  "son"  (spoken  or  written)  al- 
most disappears,  according  as  the  context  shows  it 
to  be  my  son  or  your  son;  and  how  correspondingly 
different  are  those  ideas.  And  so  with  a  wider  filial 
meaning  of  son.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  King  Lear's 
idea  of  "daughter"  had  not  the  filial  meaning  con- 
ventionally ascribed  to  that  relationship. 

If  all  this  that  I  have  said  is  valid  the  difference 
between  that  which  we  call  perception  and  that 
which  we  call  meaning  is  one  of  complexity.  The 
less  complex  we  call  perception,  the  more  complex, 
meaning.  Both  are  determined  by  past  experiences 
the  residua  of  which  are  the  settings. 

This  may  be  illustrated  by  the  following :  We  will 
suppose  that  three  persons  in  imagination  perceive 
a  certain  building  used  as  a  department  store  on 


THE    MEANING   OF   IDEAS  329 

a  certain  street  I  have  in  mind  now,  in  a  growing 
section  of  the  city.  One  of  these  persons  is  an  archi- 
tect, another  is  an  owner  of  property  on  this  street, 
and  the  third  is  a  woman  who  is  in  the  habit  of 
making  purchases  in  the  department  store.  When 
the  architect  thinks  of  the  building  he  perceives  it 
in  his  mind's  eye  in  an  architectural  setting,  that 
is,  its  architectural  style,  proportions,  features,  and 
relations.  His  perception  includes  a  number  of 
secondary  images  of  the  neighboring  buildings,  of 
their  styles  of  architecture,  and  of  their  relations 
from  an  aesthetic  point  of  view.  In  the  perception 
of  the  owner  of  property  there  are  also  a  number  of 
secondary  images,  but  these  are  of  the  passing  peo- 
ple and  traffic,  of  neighboring  buildings  as  shops 
and  places  of  business.  In  the  perception  of  the 
woman  the  secondary  images  are  of  the  interior  of 
the  store,  the  articles  for  sale,  clothes  she  would  like 
to  purchase  and  possibly  bargains  dear  to  every 
woman 's  heart.  Plainly  each  perceives  the  building 
from  a  different  point  of  view.  Each  might  per- 
ceive the  building  from  the  same  point  of  view,  but 
the  point  of  view  differs  because  of  the  differences 
in  the  past  experiences  of  each. 

In  the  case  of  the  architect  these  experiences  were 
those  of  previous  observations  on  the  architecture 
of  the  growing  neighborhood.  In  the  case  of  the 
property  owner  they  were  of  thoughtful  reflections 
on  the  future  development  of  neighboring  property, 
on  the  industrial  relations  of  the  building  to  busi- 
ness, and  on  the  speculative  future  value  of  the 


330  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

property.  In  the  case  of  the  woman  they  were  of 
purchases  she  had  made,  of  articles  she  had  seen 
and  desired,  of  scenes  inside  the  shop,  etc.  Out  of 
these  experiences  respectively  a  complex  was  built 
and  conserved  in  the  mind  of  each.  The  idea  of  the 
building  is  set  in  these  respective  experiences  which 
therefore  may  be  called  its  setting.  The  imaginal 
perception  of  the  building  obviously  has  a  different 
meaning  for  each  of  our  three  observers,  and  it  is 
plainly  the  setting  which  governs  the  meaning,  i.  e., 
an  architectural,  industrial,  or  shopping  meaning, 
as  the  case  happens  to  be ;  and  we  may  further  say 
the  setting  determines  the  point  of  view  or  attitude 
of  mind  or  interest.  Either  the  perception  proper 
of  the  building  or  the  meaning  may  be  in  the  focus 
of  attention  and  the  other  recede  into  the  back- 
ground or  the  fringe  of  awareness. 

Further,  different  affects  may  enter  into  each  set- 
ting and,  therefore,  into  the  perception.  With  the 
architectural  perception  there  may  be  linked  an 
aesthetic  joyful  emotion ;  with  the  industrial  percep- 
tion a  depressing  emotion  of  anxiety ;  with  the  shop- 
ping perception  perhaps  one  of  anger.  (This  link- 
ing of  an  emotion,  of  course,  has  a  great  importance 
for  psychopathic  states.) 

The  dependence  of  perceptions  upon  their  settings 
for  meaning  has  been  very  beautifully  expressed  by 
Emerson  in  "Each  and  All": 

"Nothing  is  fair  or  good  alone. 
I  thought  the  sparrow's  note  from  heaven, 
Singing  at  dawn  on  the  alder  bough; 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  331 

I  brought  him  home,  in  his  nest,  at  even; 
He  sings  the  song,  but  it  cheers  not  now, 
For  I  did  not  bring  home  the  river  and  sky; 
He  sang  to  my  ear — they  sang  to  my  eye. 
The  delicate  shells  lay  on  the  shore ; 
The  bubbles  of  the  latest  wave 
Fresh  pearls  to  their  enamel  gave, 
And  the  bellowing  of  the  savage  sea 
Greeted  their  safe  escape  to  me. 
I  wiped  away  the  weeds  and  foam, 
I  fetched  my  sea-born  treasures  home; 
But  the  poor  unsightly,  noisome  things 
Had  left  their  beauty  on  the  shore 
'  With  the  sun  and  the  sand  and  the  wild  uproar." 

The  practical  application  of  the  theory  to  emotional  out- 
breaks of  everyday  life — The  significance  of  these 
principles  for  our  purpose  lies  in  the  fact  that 
they  enable  us  to  understand  numerous  psycho- 
logical events  of  everyday  and  pathological  life 
that  otherwise  would  be  unintelligible.  It  is 
worth  while  then  to  study  a  little  more  closely 
the  practical  application  in  everyday  life  of  this 
principle  of  settings  before  applying  it  to  the 
more  difficult  problem  of  imperative  ideas  or  obses- 
sions. 

No  psychological  event,  any  more  than  a  physical 
event,  stands  entirely  isolated,  all  alone  by  itself, 
without  relation  to  other  events.  Every  psychologi- 
cal event  is  related  more  or  less  intimately  to  ante- 
cedent events,  and  the  practical  importance  or  value 
of  this  relation  depends  for  the  individual  partly 
upon  the  nature  of  the  relation  itself,  and  partly 


332  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

upon  the  ontological  value  of  those  anterior  events, 
i.  e.,  the  part  they  played  and  still  play  in  the  per- 
sonality of  the  individual.  No  event,  therefore,  if 
it  is  to  be  completely  interpreted,  should  be  viewed 
by  itself  but  only  in  relation  to  preceding  ones.  For 
example:  a  husband  good humoredly  and  thought- 
lessly chaffs  his  wife  about  the  cost  of  a  new  hat 
which  she  exhibits  with  pride  and  pleasure.  The 
wife  in  reply  expresses  herself  by  an  outburst  of 
anger  which,  to  the  astonished  bystander,  seems  an 
entirely  unjustifiable  and  inexplicable  response  to 
an  entirely  inadequate  cause.  Now  if  the  bystander 
were  permitted  to  make  a  psychological  inquiry  into 
the  mental  processes  of  the  wife,  he  would  find  that 
the  chaffing  remark  had  meaning  for  her  very  differ- 
ent from  what  it  had  for  him,  and  probably  also 
for  the  husband;  that  it  meant  much  more  to  her 
than  the  cost  of  that  hat.  He  would  find  that  it  was 
set  in  her  mind  in  a  number  of  antecedent  experi- 
ences consisting  of  criticisms  of  the  wife  by  the  hus- 
band for  extravagance  in  dress ;  and  perhaps  crimi- 
nations and  recriminations  involving  much  angry 
feeling  on  the  part  of  both,  and  he  would  probably 
find  that  when  the  hat  was  purchased  the  possibility 
of  criticism  on  the  ground  of  extravagance  passed 
through  her  mind.  The  chaffing  remark  of  the  hus- 
band therefore  in  the  mind  of  the  wife  had  for  a 
context  all  these  past  experiences  which  formed  a 
setting  and  gave  an  unintended  meaning  to  the  re- 
mark. The  angry  response,  therefore,  was  dictated 
by  these  antecedent  experiences  and  not  simply  by 


THE    MEANING   OF   IDEAS  333 

the  trivial  matter  of  the  cost  of  a  hat,  standing  by 
itself.  The  event  can  only  be  interpreted  in  the  light 
of  these  past  conserved  experiences.  How  much  of 
all  this  antecedent  experience  was  in  consciousness 
at  the  moment  is  another  question  which  we  shall 
presently  consider. 

I  have  often  had  occasion  to  interpret  cryptic  oc- 
currences of  this  kind  happening  with  patients  or 
acquaintances.  They  make  quite  an  amusing  social 
game.  (A  knowledge  of  this  principle  shows  the 
impossibility  of  outsiders  judging  the  Tightness  or 
wrongness  of  misunderstandings  and  contretemps 
between  individuals — particularly  married  people.) 
To  complete  the  interpretation  of  this  episode  of 
the  hat — although  a  little  beside  the  point  under 
consideration :  plainly  the  anger  to  which  the  wife 
gave  expression  was  the  affect  linked  with  and  the 
reaction  to  the  setting-complex  formed  by  antece- 
dent experiences.  To  state  the  matter  in  another 
way,  these  experiences  were  the  formative  material 
out  of  which  a  psychological  torch  had  been  plasti- 
cally fashioned  ready  to  be  set  ablaze  by  the  first 
touch  of  a  match — in  this  case  the  chaffing  remark 
or  associated  idea.  This  principle  of  the  setting, 
which  gives  meaning  to  an  idea,  being  the  conserved 
neurograms  of  related  antecedent  experiences  is 
strikingly  manifest  in  pathological  and  quasi-patho- 
logical conditions.  I  will  mention  only  two  in- 
stances. 

The  first,  that  of  X.  Y.  Z.,  I  shall  have  occasion  to 


334  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

refer  to  in  more  detail  in  connection  with  the  emo- 
tions and  instincts  in  a  later  lecture.*  This  lady,  on 
the  first  night  of  her  marriage,  felt  deeply  hurt  in 
her  pride  from  a  fancied  neglect  on  the  part  of  her 
husband.  The  cause  was  trivial  and  could  not  pos- 
sibly be  taken  by  any  sensible  person  as  an  adequate 
justification  for  the  resentment  which  followed  and 
the  somewhat  tragic  revenge  which  she  practiced 
(continuous  voluntary  repression  of  the  sexual  in- 
stinct during  many  years).  But  the  fancied  slight 
had  a  meaning  for  her  which  did  not  appear  on  the 
surface.  As  she  herself  insisted,  in  attempted  ex- 
tenuation of  her  conduct,  "You  must  not  take  it 
alone  by  itself  but  in  connection  with  the  past."  It 
appeared  that  during  the  betrothal  period  there 
had  been  a  number  of  experiences  wounding  to  her 
pride  and  leading  to  angry  resentment.  These  had 
been  ostensibly  but  not  really  forgiven.  The  action 
of  her  spouse  on  the  important  night  in  question  had 
a  meaning  for  her  of  a  slight,  because  it  stood  in 
relation  to  all  these  other  antecedent  experiences, 
and  through  these  only  could  its  meaning  (for  her) 
be  interpreted.  As  a  practical  matter  of  therapeu- 
tics it  became  evident  that  the  cherished  resentment 
of  years  and  the  physiological  consequences  could 
only  be  removed  by  readjusting  the  setting — the 
memories  of  all  the  antecedent  experiences  with 
their  resentment. 

The  second  instance  was  a  case  of  hysteria  of  the 
neurasthenic  type  with  outbreaks  of  emotional  at- 

*  P.  462,  Lecture  XIV. 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  335 

tacks  in  a  middle-aged  woman.  It  developed  imme- 
diately, in  the  midst  of  good  health,  out  of  a  violent 
and  protracted  fit  of  anger,  almost  frenzy,  two  years 
ago,  culminating  in  the  first  emotional  or  hysterical 
attack.  Looked  at  superficially  the  fit  of  anger 
would  be  considered  childish  because  it  was  aroused 
by  the  fact  that  some  children  were  allowed  to  make 
the  day  hideous  by  firing  cannon-crackers  continu- 
ally under  her  window  in  celebration  of  the  national 
holiday.  When  more  deeply  analyzed  it  was  found 
that  the  anger  was  really  resentment  at  what  she 
considered  unjustifiable  treatment  of  herself  by 
others,  and  particularly  by  her  husband,  who  would 
not  take  steps  to  have  the  offense  stopped.  It  is 
impossible  to  go  into  all  the  details  here;  suffice  it 
to  say  that  below  the  surface  the  experiences  of  life 
had  deposited  a  large  accumulation  of  grievances 
against  which  resentment  had  been  continuous  over 
a  long  series  of  years.  Although  loving  and  respect- 
ing her  husband,  a  man  of  force  and  character,  yet 
she  had  long  realized  she  was  not  as  necessary  to 
his  life  as  she  wanted  to  be ;  that  he  could  get  along 
without  her,  however  fond  he  was  of  her;  and  that 
he  was  the  stronger  character  in  one  way.  She 
wanted  to  be  wanted.  Against  all  this  for  years 
she  had  felt  anger  and  resentment.  She  had  con- 
cealed her  feelings,  controlled  them,  repressed  them, 
if  you  will,  but  there  remained  a  general  dissatis- 
faction against  life,  a  "kicking  against  the  pricks," 
and  a  quickness  to  anger,  though  its  expression  had 


336  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

been  well  controlled.  These  were  the  formative  in- 
fluences which  laid  the  mine  ready  to  be  fired  by  a 
spark,  feelings  of  resentment  and  anger  which  had 
been  incubating  for  years.  Finally  the  spark  came 
in  the  form  of  a  childish  offense.  The  frenzy  of 
anger  was  ostensibly  only  the  reaction  to  that  of- 
fense, but  it  was  really  the  explosion  of  years  of 
antecedent  experiences.  The  apparent  offense  was 
only  the  manifested  cause,  symbolic  if  you  like  so 
to  express  it,  of  the  underlying  accumulated  causes 
contained  in  life's  grievances.*  After  completion 
of  the  analysis  the  patient  herself  recognized  this  in- 
terpretation to  be  the  true  meaning  of  her  anger  and 
point  of  view. 

Similarly  in  everyday  life  the  emotional  shocks 
from  fear  in  dangerous  situations,  to  which  most 
people  are  subject  and  which  so  often  give  rise  to 
traumatic  psychoses,  must  primarily  find  their 
source  in  the  psychological  setting  of  the  percep- 
tion of  the  situation  (railroad,  automobile,  and  other 
accidents).  This  setting  is  fashioned  from  the  con- 
served knowledge  of  the  fatal  and  other  conse- 
quences of  such  accidents.  This  knowledge,  de- 
posited by  past  mental  experiences — that  which  has 
been  heard  and  read — induces  a  dormant  apprehen- 
sion of  accidents  and  gives  the  meaning  of  danger 
to  a  perception  of  a  present  situation,  and  in  itself, 

Prince:  The  Mechanism  of  Becurrent  Psychopathic  States,  with 
Special  Reference  to  Anxiety  States,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychol- 
ogy, June-July,  1911,  pp.  153-154. 


THE   MEANING   OF   IDEAS  337 

I  may  add,  furnishes  the  neurographic  fuel  ready  to 
be  set  ablaze  by  the  first  accident.* 

*  Ibid.,  p.  152.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  statistics  show  that 
traumatic  psychoses  following  railway  accidents  are  comparatively 
rare  among  trainmen,  while  exceedingly  common  among  passengers. 
The  reason  is  to  be  found  in  the  difference  in  the  settings  of  ideas 
of  accidents  in  the  two  classes  of  persons.  It  is  the  same  psycholog- 
ical difference  that  distinguishes  the  seasoned  veteran  soldier  from 
the  raw  recruit  in  the  presence  of  the  enemy. 


LECTURE  XI 

MEANING,    SETTING,    AND    THE    FRINGE    OF    CON. 
SCIOUSNESS 

The  content  of  the  fringe  of  consciousness  considered  as  a 
subconscious  zone — It  is  obvious  that  all  the  past  ex- 
periences which  originate  the  meaning  of  an  idea 
cannot  be  in  consciousness  at  a  given  moment  If  I 
carefully  introspect  my  irnaginal  perception  or  idea 
of  an  object,  say  of  a  politician,  I  do  not  find  in  my 
consciousness  all  the  elements  which  have  given  me 
my  viewpoint  or  attitude  of  mind  toward  him — the 
meaning  of  my  idea  of  him  as  a  great  statesman 
or  a  demagogue,  whichever  it  be — and  yet  it  may 
not  be  difficult,  by  referring  to  my  memory,  to  find 
the  past  experiences  which  have  furnished  the  set- 
ting which  gives  this  viewpoint  Very  little  of  all 
these  past  experiences  can  be  in  the  content  of  con- 
sciousness, and  much  less  in  the  focus  of  attention, 
at  any  given  moment,  nevertheless  I  cannot  doubt 
that  these  experiences  really  determined  the  mean- 
ing of  my  idea,  for  if  challenged  I  proceed  to  recite 
this  conserved  knowledge.  And  so  it  is  with  every- 
one who  defends  the  validity  of  the  meaning  of  his 
ideas. 

The  question  at  once  comes  to  mind  in  the  case 

338 


THE   FRINGE   OF   CONSCIOUSNESS       339 

of  any  given  perception,  how  much  of  past  experi- 
ence (associated  ideas)  is  in  consciousness  at  any 
given  moment  as  the  setting  which  provides  the 
meaning? 

That  the  meaning  must  be  in  consciousness  is  ob- 
vious; else  the  term  ''meaning"  would  have  no 
meaning — it  would  be  sheer  nonsense  to  talk  of  ideas 
having  meaning.  As  I  have  said,  the  meaning  may 
be  in  the  focus  of  attention  or  it  may  be  in  the 
fringe  or  background  according  to  the  point  of  in- 
terest. If  in  the  focus  of  attention,  meaning  plainly 
may,  synchronously  or  successively,  include  ideas  of 
quite  a  large  number  of  past  experiences,  but  if  in 
the  background  it  may  be  another  matter.  In  this 
case  it  may  be  held,  and  probably  in  many  instances 
quite  rightly,  that  meaning  is  a  short  summary  of 
past  experiences,  or  summing  up  in  the  form  of  a 
symbol,  and  that  this  summary  or  symbol  is  in  the 
focus  of  attention  or  in  the  fringe  of  awareness,  L 
e.,  is  clearly  or  dimly  conscious.  Thus,  in  one  of  the 
examples  above  given,  the  industrial  meaning  of 
the  owner's  idea  of  the  building  might  be  a  short 
summing  up  of  his  past  cogitations  on  the  business 
value  of  the  property ;  in  the  case  of  my  idea  of  the 
politician,  the  symbol  "statesman"  or  "dema- 
gogue"— as  the  case  might  be — might  be  in  con- 
sciousness and  be  the  meaning.  All  the  rest  of  the 
past  associative  experiences  in  either  case  would 
furnish  the  origin  of  the  setting  but  would  not  be 
the  actual  functioning  setting  itself. 

It  must  be  confessed,  however,  that  the  content 


340  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

of  meaning,  when  it  is  not  in  the  focus  of  attention, 
often  becomes  very  elusive  when  we  try  to  clearly 
revive  it  retrospectively  and  differentiate  the  par- 
ticular states  of  consciousness  present  at  any  given 
moment.  It  is  probably  because  of  this  elusiveness, 
as  of  something  that  seems  to  evade  analysis,  that, 
it  was  so  long  overlooked  as  an  object  of  psychologi- 
cal study.  Yet  if  meaning  is  not  something  more 
than  an  abstract  term,  and  is  really  a  component 
of  a  moment's  consciousness,  we  ought  to  be  able 
to  analyze  it  in  any  given  instance  provided  our 
methods  of  investigation  are  adequate.  The  diffi- 
culty, I  think,  largely  arises  from  the  fact  that  the 
minute  we  direct  attention  to  such  elements  of  the 
content  of  consciousness  of  any  given  moment  as 
are  not  in  the  focus  of  attention  they  at  once  become 
shifted  into  the  focus  and  the  composition  of  the 
content  also  becomes  altered.  Consequently  we  are 
never  immediately  vividly  or  fully  aware  of  the 
whole  content.  The  only  method  of  learning  what 
is  the  whole  content  at  any  given  moment  is  by.  ret- 
rospection— the  recovery  of  it  as  memory.  Fur- 
ther, special  technical  methods  are  required.  Then, 
too,  image  and  meaning  are  constantly  shifting  their 
relative  positions,  at  one  time  the  one  being  in  the 
focus  of  attention,  the  other  in  the  fringe,  and  vice 
versa. 

When  speaking  colloquially  of  the  content  of  con- 
sciousness we  have  in  mind  those  ideas  or  compo- 
nents of  ideas — elements  of  thought — which  are  in 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        341 

the  focus  of  attention,  and  therefore  that  of  which 
we  are  more  or  less  vividly  aware.  If  you  were 
asked  to  state  what  was  in  your  mind  at  a  given 
moment  it  is  the  vivid  elements,  upon  which  your 
attention  was  focused,  that  you  would  describe. 
But,  as  everyone  knows,  these  do  not  constitute  the 
whole  field  of  consciousness  at  any  given  moment. 
Besides  these  there  is  in  the  background  of  the  mind, 
outside  the  focus,  a  conscious  margin  or  fringe  of 
varying  extent  (consisting  of  sensations,  percep- 
tions, and  even  thoughts)  of  which  you  are  only 
dimly  aware.  It  is  a  sort  of  twilight  zone  in  which 
the  contents  are  so  slightly  illuminated  by  aware- 
ness as  to  be  scarcely  recognizable.  The  contents 
of  this  zone  are  readily  forgotten  owing  to  their 
having  been  outside  the  focus  of  attention ;  but  much 
can  be  recalled  if  an  effort  to  do  so  (retrospection) 
is  made  immediately  after  any  given  moment's  ex- 
perience. Much  can  only  be  recalled  by  the  use  of 
special  technical  methods  of  investigation.  I  be- 
lieve that  the  more  thoroughly  this  wonderful  re- 
gion is  explored  the  richer  it  will  be  found  to  be  in 
conscious  elements. 

It  must  not  be  thought  that  because  we  are  only 
dimly  aware  of  the  contents  of  this  twilight  zone 
therefore  the  individual  elements  lack  definiteness 
and  positive  reality.  To  do  so  is  to  confuse  the 
awareness  of  a  certain  something  with  that  some- 
thing itself.  To  so  think  would  be  like  thinking  that, 
because  we  do  not  distinctly  recognize  objects  in  the 
darkness,  therefore  they  are  but  shadowy  forms 


342  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

without  substance.  When,  in  states  of  abstraction 
or  hypnosis,  the  ideas  of  this  fringe  of  attention  are 
recalled,  as  often  is  easily  done,  they  are  remem- 
bered as  very  definite,  real,  conscious  elements,  and 
the  memory  of  them  is  as  vivid  as  that  of  most 
thoughts.  That  these  marginal  ideas  are  not 
"vivid"  at  the  time  of  their  occurrence  means  sim- 
ply that  they  are  not  in  such  dynamic  relations  with 
the  whole  content  of  consciousness  as  to  be  the  focus 
of  awareness  or  attention.  What  sort  of  relations 
are  requisite  for  "awareness"  is  an  unsolved  prob- 
lem. It  seems  to  be  a  matter  not  only  of  synthesis 
but  of  dynamic  relations  within  the  synthesis. 

However  that  may  be,  outside  that  dynamic  syn- 
thesis which  we  distinguish  as  the  focus  of  attention 
we  can  at  certain  moments  recognize  or  recall  to 
memory  (whether  through  technical  devices  or  not) 
a  number  of  different  conscious  states.  These  may 
be  roughly  classified  as  follows: 

1:  Visual,  auditory,  and  other  sensory  impres- 
sions to  which  we  are  not  giving  attention — (e.  g., 
the  striking  of  a  clock ;  the  sound  of  horses  passing 
in  the  street;  voices  from  the  next  room;  coenaes- 
thetic  and  other  sensations  of  the  body. 

2:  The  secondary  sensory  images  of  which  I 
spoke  in  the  last  lecture  as  taking  part  in  percep- 
tion. 

3:  Associative  memories  and  thoughts  pertain- 
ing to  the  ideas  in  the  focus  of  attention. 

4 :  Secondary  independent  trains  of  thought  not 
related  to  those  in  the  focus  of  attention.  (As  when 


THE   FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        343 

we  are  doing  one  thing  or  listening  to  conversation 
and  thinking  of  something  else.  Very  likely,  how- 
ever, what  appear  to  be  secondary  trains  of  thought 
are  often  only  alternating  trains.  I  have,  however, 
a  considerable  collection  of  data  showing  such  con- 
comitant secondary  trains  in  certain  subjects  (cf. 
Lecture  VI).  Such  a  train  can  be  demonstrated  to 
be  a  precisely  differentiated  "stream"  of  conscious- 
ness in  absent-minded  conditions,  where  it  may  con- 
stitute a  veritable  doubling  of  consciousness. 

Some  of  these  marginal  elements  may  be  so  dis- 
tinctly within  the  field  of  awareness  that  we  are 
conscious  of  them,  but  dimly  so.*  Others,  in  par- 
ticular cases  at  least,  may  be  so  far  outside  and 
hidden  in  the  twilight  obscurity  that  the  subject  is 
not  even  dimly  aware  of  them.  In  more  technical 
parlance,  we  may  say,  they  are  so  far  dissociated 
that  they  belong  to  an  ultra-marginal  zone  and  are 
really  subconscious.  Evidence  of  their  having  been 
present  can  only  be  obtained  through  memories  re- 
covered in  hypnosis,  abstraction,  and  by  other  meth- 
ods. These  may  be  properly  termed  coconscious. 
Undoubtedly  the  degree  of  awareness  for  marginal 
elements,  i.  e.,  the  degree  of  dissociation  between 
the  elements  of  the  content  of  consciousness,  varies 
at  different  moments  in  the  same  individual  accord- 
ing to  the  degree  of  concentration  of  attention  and 

*  It  is  very  doubtful  whether  vivid  awareness  is  a  matter  of  in- 
tensity because,  among  other  reasons,  subconscious  ideas  of  which  the 
individual  is  entirely  unaware  and  elements  in  the  fringe  may  have 
decided  intensity. 


344  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

the  character  of  the  fixation,  e.  g.,  whether  upon  the 
environment  or  upon  inner  thoughts.  It  also  varies 
much  in  different  individuals.  Therefore  some  per- 
sons lend  themselves  as  more  favorable  subjects  for 
the  detection  of  marginal  and  ultra-marginal  states 
than  others.  Furthermore,  according  to  certain 
evidence  at  hand,  there  is,  in  some  persons  at  least, 
a  constant  shifting  or  interchange  of  elements  going 
on  between  the  field  of  attention  and  the  marginal 
and  the  ultra-marginal  zone — what  is  within  the  first 
at  one  moment  is  in  the  second,  or  is  entirely  sub- 
conscious, the  next,  and  vice  versa. 

Amnesia  develops  very  rapidly  for  the  contents 
of  the  twilight  region,  as  I  have  already  stated,  and 
this  renders  their  recognition  difficult.* 

In  favorable  subjects  memory  of  that  portion  of 
the  content  of  consciousness  which  is  commonly 
called  the  fringe  can  be  recovered  in  abstraction  and 
hypnosis.  In  these  states  valuable  information  can 
be  obtained  regarding  the  content  of  consciousness 
at  any  given  previous  moment,f  and  this  informa- 
tion reveals  that  there  were  present  in  the  fringe 
conscious  states  of  which  the  subject  was  never 
aware,  or  of  which  he  is  later  ignorant  owing  to 
amnesia.  I  have  studied  the  fringe  of  conscious- 

*  The  development  of  amnesia  seems  to  be  inversely  proportionate 
to  the  degree  of  awareness,  provided  there  are  no  other  dissociating 
factors,  such  as  an  emotional  complex. 

f  This  is  due  to  the  well-known  fact  (demonstrated  in  a  large 
variety  of  phenomena)  that  ideas  dissociated  from  the  personal  con- 
sciousness awake  may  become  synthesized  as  memories  with  this  same 
consciousness  in  hypnosis. 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        345 

ness  by  this  method  in  a  number  of  subjects.  A 
number  of  years  ago  a  systematic  study  of  the  field 
of  the  content  of  consciousness  outside  the  focus  of 
awareness,  including  not  only  the  fringe  but  what 
may  be  called  the  ultra-marginal  (subconscious) 
zone,  was  made  in  a  very  favorable  subject  (Miss 
B.),  and  the  general  results  were  given  in  an  ad- 
dress on  the  "Problems  of  Abnormal  Psychol- 
ogy" *  at  the  Congress  of  Arts  and  Sciences  held  in 
St.  Louis  (1904).  I  may  be  permitted  to  quote  that 
summary  here.  The  term  "secondary  conscious- 
ness" is  used  in  this  passage  to  designate  the  fringe 
and  ultra-marginal  (subconscious)  zone. 

"A  systematic  examination  was  made  of  the  per- 
sonal consciousness  in  hypnosis  regarding  the  per- 
ceptions and  content  of  the  secondary  conscious- 
ness during  definite  moments,  of  which  the  events 
were  prearranged  or  otherwise  known,  the  subject 
not  being  in  absent-mindedness.  It  is  not  within 
the  scope  of  an  address  of  this  sort  to  give  the  de- 
tails of  these  observations,  but  in  this  connection 
I  may  state  briefly  a  summary  of  the  evidence,  re- 
serving the  complete  observation  for  future  publi- 
cation. It  was  found  that— 

"1.  A  large  number  of  perceptions — visual,  au- 
ditory, tactile,  and  thermal  images,  and  sometimes 
emotional  states — occurred  outside  of  the  per- 
sonal consciousness  and,  therefore,  the  subject  was 
not  conscious  of  them  when  awake.  The  visual 

*  See  Proceedings,  also  The  Psychological  Review,  March-May, 
1905. 


346  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

images  were  particularly  those  of  peripheral  vision, 
such  as  the  extra-conscious  [marginal  or  ultra-mar- 
ginal] perception  of  a  person  in  the  street  who  was 
not  recognized  by  the  personal  waking  conscious- 
ness; and  the  perception  of  objects  intentionally 
placed  in  the  field  of  peripheral  vision  and  not  per- 
ceived by  the  subject,  whose  attention  was  held  in 
conversation.  Auditory  images  of  passing  car- 
riages, of  voices,  footsteps,  etc.,  thermal  images  of 
heat  and  cold  from  the  body  were  similarly  found 
to  exist  extra-consciously,  and  to  be  entirely  un- 
known to  the  personal  waking  consciousness. 

"2.  As  to  the  content  of  the  concomittant  (dis- 
sociated) ideas,  it  appeared,  by  the  testimony  of 
the  hypnotic  self,  that  as  compared  with  those  of 
the  waking  consciousness  the  secondary  ideas  were 
quite  limited.  They  were,  as  is  always  the  experi- 
ence of  the  subject,  made  up  for  the  most  part  of 
emotions  (e.  g.,  annoyances),  and  sensations  (vis- 
ual, auditory,  and  tactile  images  of  a  room,  of  par- 
ticular persons,  people's  voices,  etc).  They  were 
not  combined  into  a  logical  proposition,  though  in 
using  words  to  describe  them  it  is  necessary  to  so 
combine  them  and  therefore  give  them  a  rather  arti- 
ficial character  as  'thoughts.'  It  is  questionable 
whether  the  word  'thoughts'  may  be  used  to  de- 
scribe mental  states  of  this  kind,  and  the  word  was 
used  by  the  hypnotic  self  subject  to  this  qualifica- 
tion. Commonly,  I  should  infer,  a  succession  of  such 
'thoughts'  may  arise,  but  each  is  for  the  most  part 
limited  to  isolated  emotions  and  sensorial  images 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        347 

and  lacks  the  complexity  and  synthesis  of  the  wak- 
ing mentation. 

"3.  The  memories,  emotions,  and  perceptions  of 
which  the  subject  is  not  conscious  when  awake  are 
remembered  in  hypnosis  and  described.  The 
thoughts  of  which  the  subject  is  conscious  when 
awake  are  those  which  are  concentrated  on  what  she 
is  doing.  The  others,  of  which  she  is  not  conscious, 
are  a  sort  of  side-thoughts.  These  are  not  logically 
connected  among  themselves,  are  weak,  and  have 
little  influence  on  the  personal  (chief)  train  of 
thought.  Now,  although  when  awake  the  subject  is 
conscious  of  some  thoughts  and  not  of  others,  both 
kinds  keep  running  into  one  another  and  therefore 
the  conscious  and  the  subconscious  are  constantly 
uniting,  disuniting,  and  interchanging.  There  is  no 
hard  and  fast  line  between  the  conscious  and  the 
subconscious,  for  at  times  what  belongs  to  one 
passes  into  the  other,  and  vice  versa.  The  waking 
self  is  varying  the  grouping  of  its  thoughts  all  the 
time  in  such  a  way  as  to  be  continually  including 
and  excluding  the  subconscious  thoughts.  The  per- 
sonal pronoun  'I,'  or,  when  spoken  to,  'you,'  applied 
equally  to  her  waking  self  and  to  her  hypnotic  self, 
but  these  terms  were  not  applicable  to  her  uncon- 
scious thoughts,  which  were  not  self-conscious.  For 
convenience  of  terminology  it  was  agreed  to  arbi- 
trarily call  the  thoughts  of  which  the  subject  is  con- 
scious when  awake  the  waking  consciousness,  and 
the  thoughts  of  which  when  awake  she  is  not  con- 
scious the  secondary  consciousness.  In  making  this 


348  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

division  the  hypnotic  self  insisted  most  positively 
on  one  distinction,  namely  that  the  secondary  con- 
sciousness was  in  no  sense  a  personality.  The  pro- 
noun 7  could  not  be  applied  to  it.  In  speaking  of  the 
thoughts  of  this  second  group  of  mental  states  alone, 
she  could  not  say  'I  felt  this,'  'I  saw  that.'  These 
thoughts  were  better  described  as,  for  the  most  part, 
unconnected,  discrete  sensations,  impressions,  and 
emotions,  and  were  not  synthesized  into  a  person- 
ality. They  were  not,  therefore,  self-conscious. 
When  the  waking  self  was  hypnotized,  the  resulting 
hypnotic  self  acquired  the  subconscious  perceptions 
of  the  second  consciousness;  she  then  could  say  'I/ 
and  the  hypnotic  '/'  included  what  were  formerly 
'  subconscious '  perceptions.  In  speaking  of  the  sec- 
ondary personality  by  itself,  then,  it  is  to  be  under- 
stood that  self-consciousness  and  personality  are 
always  excluded.  This  testimony  was  verified  by 
test  instances  of  subconscious  perception  of  visual 
and  auditory  images  of  experiences  occurring  in 
my  presence. 

"4.  Part  played  by  the  secondary  consciousness 
in  (a)  normal  mentation.  The  hypnotic  self  testi- 
fied that  the  thoughts  of  the  secondary  conscious- 
ness do  not  form  a  logical  chain.  They  do  not  have 
volition.  They  are  entirely  passive  and  have  no 
direct  control  over  the  subject's  voluntary  actions. 

"  (b)  Part  played  by  the  secondary  conscious- 
ness in  absent-mindedness.  (1)  Some  apparently 
absent-minded  acts  are  only  examples  of  amnesia. 
There  is  no  doubling  of  consciousness  at  the  time. 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        349 

It  is  a  sort  of  continuous  amnesia  brought  about  by 
lack  of  attention.  (2)  In  true  absent-mindedness 
there  does  occur  a  division  of  consciousness  along 
lines  which  allow  a  large  field  to,  and  relatively  wide 
synthesis  of  the  dissociated  states.  The  personal 
consciousness  is  proportionately  restricted.  The 
subconscious  thoughts  may  involve  a  certain  amount 
of  volition  and  judgment,  as  when  the  subject  sub- 
consciously took  a  book  from  the  table,  carried  it  to 
the  bookcase,  started  to  place  it  on  the  shelf,  found 
that  particular  location  unsuitable,  arranged  a  place 
on  another  shelf  where  the  book  was  finally  placed. 
No  evidence,  however,  was  obtained  to  show  that 
the  dissociated  consciousness  is  capable  of  wider  and 
more  original  synthesis  than  is  involved  in  adapt- 
ing habitual  acts  to  the  circumstances  of  the  mo- 
ment. 

"  (c)  Solving  problems  by  the  secondary  con- 
sciousness. [The  statement  of  the  hypnotic  self  re- 
garding the  part  played  by  the  'secondary  con- 
sciousness' has  already  been  given  in  Lecture 
VI,  p.  167.] 

"The  subject  of  these  observations  was  at  the 
time  in  good  mental  and  physical  condition.  Criti- 
cism may  be  made  that,  the  subject  being  one  who 
had  exhibited  for  a  long  time  previously  the  phe- 
nomena of  mental  dissociation,  she  now,  though  for 
the  time  being  recovered,  tended  to  a  greater  dis- 
sociation and  formation  of  subconscious  states  than 
does  a  normal  person,  and  that  the  subconscious 
phenomena  were  therefore  exaggerated.  This  is 


350  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

true.  It  is  probable  that  the  subconscious  flora  of 
ideas  in  this  subject  are  richer  than  in  the  ordinary 
individual.  These  phenomena  probably  represent 
the  extreme  degree  of  dissociation  compatible  with 
normality.  And  yet,  curiously  enough,  the  evidence 
tended  to  show  that  the  more  robust  the  health  of 
the  individual,  the  more  stable  her  mind,  the  richer 
the  field  of  these  ideas." 

Of  course  it  is  a  question  how  far  the  findings 
in  a  particular  and  apparently  specially  favorable 
subject  are  applicable  to  people  in  general.  I  would 
say,  however,  that  I  have  substantially  confirmed 
these  observations  in  another  subject,  B.  C.  A.,  when 
in  apparent  health.  In  this  latter  subject  the  rich- 
ness of  the  fringe  and  what  may  be  called  the  ultra- 
marginal  region  in  conscious  states  is  very  striking. 
The  same  is  true  of  0.  N.  (cf.  Lecture  VI,  p.  174). 
Again  in  psychasthenics,  suffering  from  attacks  of 
phobia,  association,  or  habit  psycho-neuroses,  etc., 
I  have  been  able  to  recover,  after  the  attack  has 
passed  off,  memories  of  conscious  states  which  dur- 
ing and  preliminary  to  the  attack  were  outside  the 
focus  of  attention.  Of  some  of  these  the  subject 
had  been  dimly  aware,  and  of  some  apparently  en- 
tirely unaware  (i.  e.,  they  were  coconscious).  For 
the  former  as  well  as  the  latter  there  followed  com- 
plete amnesia,  so  that  the  subject  was  ignorant  of 
their  previous  presence,  and  believed  that  the  whole 
content  of  consciousness  was  included  in  the  anxiety 
or  other  state  which  occupied  the  focus  of  attention. 
Consequently  I  am  in  the  habit,  when  investigating 


THE   FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        351 

a  pathological  case,  like  an  obsession,  of  inquiring 
(by  technical  methods)  into  the  fringe  of  attention 
and  even  the  ultra-marginal  region,  and  reviving 
the  ideas  contained  therein,  particularly  those  for 
which  there  is  amnesia.  My  purpose  has  been  to 
discover  the  presence  of  ideas  or  thoughts  which 
as  a  setting  would  explain  the  meaning  of  the  idea 
which  was  the  object  of  fear  (a  phobia),  the  exciting 
cause  of  psycho-neurotic  attacks,  etc.  To  this  I 
shall  presently  return. 

If  all  that  I  have  said  is  true,  it  follows  that  the 
whole  content  or  field  of  consciousness  at  any  given 
moment  includes  not  only  considerably  more  than 
that  which  is  within  the  field  of  attention  but  more 
than  is  within  the  field  of  awareness.  The  field  of 
conscious  states  as  a  whole  comprises  the  focus 
of  attention  plus  the  marginal  fringe;  and  besides 
this  there  may  be  a  true  subconscious  ultra-marginal 
field  comprising  conscious  states  of  which  the  per- 
sonal consciousness  is  not  even  dimly  aware.  We 
may  schematically  represent  the  relations  of  the 
different  fields  by  a  diagram  (Fig.  1). 

It  will  be  noted  that  the  field  of  conscious  states 
includes  A.,  B.,  and  C.  and  is  larger  than  that  of 
awareness,  which  includes  A.  and  B.  The  field  of 
awareness  is  larger  than  that  of  attention  (A.),  but 
the  focus  of  awareness  coincides  with  the  field  of 
attention,  or,  as  it  is  ordinarily  termed,  the  focus  of 
attention.  Of  course  there  is  no  sharp  line  of  de- 
marcation between  any  of  these  fields,  but  a  gradual 
shading  from  A.  to  D.  Any  such  diagrammatic 


352 


THE    UNCONSCIOUS 


Fig.  1.     A.  Attention  and  focus  of  awareness. 

B.  Fringe  of  awareness. 

C.  Subconscious,  i.  e.,  coconscious  states  (ultramarginal). 

D.  Unconscious  processes. 


representation,  although  of  help  to  those  who  like  to 
visualize  concepts,  must  give  a  false  viewpoint;  as 
in  reality  the  relations  are  dynamic  or  functional, 
and  the  different  fields  more  properly  should  be 
viewed  as  different  but  inter-related  participants 
in  a  large  dynamic  mechanism. 

The  meaning  of  ideas  may  be  found  in  the  fringe  of  con- 
sciousness— Let  us  now  return  from  this  general  sur- 
vey of  the  fringe  of  consciousness  to  our  theme — 
the  setting  which  gives  meaning  to  ideas. 

It  is  obvious  that,  theoretically,  when  I  attend  to 
the  perceptive  images  of  an  idea,  the  meaning  of 
that  idea,  not  being  in  the  focus  of  awareness,  may 
be  found  among  the  conscious  states  that  make  up 
the  fringe  of  the  dynamic  field.  For  instance,  if 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS       353 

my  idea  of  a  certain  politician,  my  knowledge  of 
whom,  we  will  say,  has  been  gained  entirely  from 
the  newspapers,  is  that  of  a  bad  man — a  "crook"— 
this  meaning  may  be  dimly  in  the  fringe  of  my 
awareness.  It  is  not  necessary  that  any  large  part 
of  this  knowledge  should  be  in  the  marginal  zone 
of  the  content  of  consciousness  but  only  a  summary 
of  all  the  knowledge  I  have  acquired  regarding  him. 
The  origin  of  this  meaning — a  crook — I  can  easily 
fincj^  olT7jassociative  memories  of  what  I  have  read. 
EL*  mere  would  seem  to  be  no  need  of  all  these  to 
persist  as  a  functioning  setting — a  short  summary 
in  the  form  of  an  idea,  secondary  image,  a  word  or 
symbol  of  a  bad  man  would  seem  to  be  sufficient. 
The  same  principle  is  applicable  to  a  large  number 
of  the  simple  images  of  objects  in  my  environment 
— a  book,  an  electric  lamp,  a  horse,  etc. 

It  is  not  easy  with  such  normal  ideas  of  every- 
day life  to  analyze  the  fringe  and  determine  pre- 
cisely its  contents.  There  is  no  sharp  dividing  line 
between  the  various  zones — the  whole  being  a  dy- 
namic system.  The  moment  attention  is  directed 
to  the  marginal  zones  they  become  the  focus  and 
vice  versa.  To  obtain  accurate  knowledge  of  the 
marginal  zones  we  require  individuals  suitable  for 
a  special  technique  by  which  the  constituents  of 
these  zones  can  be  brought  back  as  memory. 

For  such  purposes  certain  persons  with  pathologi- 
cal ideas  (e.  g.,  phobias)*  are  very  favorable  sub- 

*  All  pathological  processes  are  only  the  normal  under  altered 
conditions. 


354  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

jects  for  various  reasons  not  necessary  to  go 
into. 

Now,  as  respects  the  simple  normal  ideas  of  every- 
day life,  such  as  I  have  just  cited,  a  person  can 
give  very  clearly  his  viewpoint.  He  has  a  very 
definite  notion  of  the  meaning  of  his  perceptions  and 
can  give  his  reasons  for  them  based  on  his  associa- 
tive memories  of  past  experiences  which  he  can  re- 
call. But  in  the  conditions  to  which  I  am  now  re- 
ferring a  person  can  give  no  explanation  "  a  par- 
ticular viewpoint  which  may  be  of  a  very  definite 
but  unusual  (abnormal)  character.  Nor  can  he  re- 
call any  experiences  which  would  explain  the  origin 
of  it.  I  have  in  mind  particularly  the  obsessions. 

Now,  according  to  my  observations,  we  find  in 
the  marginal  zones  of  the  content  of  consciousness 
conscious  elements  which  in  particular  cases  may 
even  give  a  hitherto  unsuspected  meaning  to  the 
pathological  idea.  I  have  found  in  these  zones 
thoughts  which  gave  meaning  to  emotions  and  other 
symptoms  excited  by  apparently  inadequate  objects. 
Thus,  in  H.  0.,  attacks  of  recurrent  nausea  and  fear 
almost  prohibiting  social  intercourse  were  always 
due  to  thoughts  of  self-disgust  hidden  in  the  fringe. 

Let  us  take  a  concrete  case,  that  of  a  person  who 
has  a  pathological  fear  and  who,  as  we  know  is  often 
the  case,  can  give  no  explanation  of  his  viewpoint. 
The  fear  may  be  that  of  fainting,  or  of  thunder- 
storms, of  a  particular  disease,  say  cancer,  or  of 
so-called  "unreality"  attacks,  or  what  not.  This 
so-called  "fear"  is  of  course  an  idea  of  self  or  other 


THE   FRINGE   OF   CONSCIOUSNESS       355 

object  linked  with,  or  which  occasions  as  a  reaction, 
the  strong  emotion  of  fear.  It  recurs  in  attacks 
which  are  excited  by  stimuli,  of  one  kind  or  another, 
that  are  associated  with  the  idea.  The  patient  can 
give  no  explanation  of  the  meaning  of  this  idea  that 
renders  intelligible  why  it  should  occasion  his  fear. 
There  is  nothing  in  his  consciousness,  so  far  as  he 
knows,  which  gives  an  adequate  meaning  to  it. 

Thus,  for  example,  C.  D.  was  the  victim  of  at- 
tacks of  fear;  the  attacks  were  so  intense  that  at 
times  she  had  been  almost  a  prisoner  in  her  house, 
in  dread  of  attacks  away  from  home;  and  yet  she 
was  unable  even  after  two  prolonged  searching  ex- 
aminations to  define  the  exact  nature  of  the  fear 
which  was  the  salient  feature  of  the  attacks,  or,  from 
her  ordinary  memories,  to  give  any  explanation  of 
its  origin.  She  remembered  many  moments  in  the 
last  twenty  years  when  the  fear  had  come  upon  her 
with  great  intensity,  but  she  could  not  recall  the 
date  of  its  inception  and,  therefore,  the  conditions 
under  which  it  originated;  consequently  nothing 
satisfactory  could  be  elicited  beyond  an  early  his- 
tory of  "anxiety  attacks"  or  indefinable  fear  of 
great  intensity  attached  to  no  specific  idea  that  she 
knew. 

As  a  result  of  searching  investigation  by  technical 
methods  it  was  brought  out  that  the  specific  object 
of  the  fear  was  fainting.  When  an  attack  devel- 
oped, besides  intense  physiological  disturbances 
and  confusion  of  thought,  there  was  in  the  content 
of  consciousness  a  feeling  that  her  mind  was  flying 


356  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

off  into  space  and  a  definite  thought  of  losing  con- 
sciousness or  fainting,  and  that  she  was  going  to 
faint.  There  was  amnesia  for  these  thoughts  fol- 
lowing the  attacks.  She  never  had  fainted  in  the 
attacks  and,  as  it  later  transpired,  had  fainted  only 
once  in  her  life.  Here  then,  dimly  in  the  content  of 
consciousness,  was  the  object  of  the  fear  in  an  at- 
tack. But  the  object  was  afterwards  forgotten; 
hence  she  could  not  explain  what  she  was  afraid  of. 
Why  fainting  should  be  such  a  terrible  accident  to 
be  feared  she  also  could  not  explain. 

The  question  now  was,  what  possible  meaning 
could  fainting  have  for  her  that  she  so  feared  it? 
This  she  did  not  know. 

Now,  on  still  further  investigation,  I  found  that 
there  was  always  in  the  fringe  of  consciousness  dur- 
ing an  attack  and  also  during  the  anticipatory  fear 
of  an  attack,  an  idea  and  fear  of  death.  This,  to 
use  her  expression,  "was  in  the  background  of  her 
mind";  it  referred  to  impending  fainting.  It  ap- 
peared then  that  in  the  fringe  or  ultra-marginal 
zone  was  the  idea  of  death  as  the  meaning  of  faint- 
ing. Of  this  she  was  never  aware.  It  was  really 
subconscious.  It  was  the  meaning  of  her  idea  of  her- 
self fainting.  In  consequence  of  this  meaning  faint- 
ing was  equivalent  to  her  own  death.  She  would  not 
have  been  afraid  of  fainting  if  she  had  not  believed 
or  could  have  been  made  to  believe  that  in  her  case 
it  did  not  mean  death.  We  might  properly  say  that 
the  real  object  of  the  fear  was  death. 

When  this  content  of  the  fringe  of  attention  was 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        357 

recovered,  the  patient  voluntarily  remarked  that 
she  had  not  been  aware  of  the  presence  during  the 
attacks  of  that  idea,  but  now  she  remembered  it 
clearly,  and  also  realized  plainly  why  she  was  afraid 
of  fainting, — what  she  had  not  understood  before. 
(It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  this  meaning  of  faint- 
ing, as  a  state  equivalent  to  death,  did  not  pertain  to 
fainting  in  general  but  solely  to  herself.  She  knew 
perfectly  well  that  fainting  in  other  people  was  not 
dangerous;  it  was  only  an  unrecognized  belief  re- 
garding a  possible  accident  to  herself.)  Besides  this 
content  of  the  fringe  of  attention  it  was  also  easy  to 
show  that  the  fringe  often  included  the  thought  (or 
idea)  which  had  been  the  immediate  excitant  of  each 
attack.  Sometimes  this  stimulus-idea  entered  the 
focus  of  attention;  sometimes  it  was  only  in  the 
fringe.  In  either  case  there  was  apt  to  be  amnesia 
for  it,  but  it  could  always  be  recalled  to  memory  in 
abstraction  or  hypnosis. 

The  content  of  consciousness  taken  as  a  whole, 
i.  e.,  to  include  both  the  focus  and  the  fringe  of  at- 
tention, then  would  adequately  determine  the  mean- 
ing of  this  subject's  idea  of  fainting  as  applied  to 
herself. 

But  why  this  meaning  of  fainting?  It  must  have 
been  derived  from  antecedent  experiences.  An  idea 
can  no  more  have  a  meaning  without  antecedent  ex- 
periences with  which  it  is  or  once  was  linked  than 
can  the  word  "parallelopipedon"  have  a  geometri- 
cal meaning  without  a  previous  geometrical  experi- 
ence, or  *  *  Timbuctoo  "  a  personal  meaning  without 


358  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

being  set  in  a  personal  experience,  whether  of  mis- 
sionaries or  hymn-books. 

I  will  not  take  the  time  to  give  the  detailed  results 
of  the  investigation  by  hypnotic  procedures  that  fol- 
lowed. I  will  merely  summarize  by  stating  that  the 
fear  of  death  from  fainting  was  a  recurrent  memory, 
i.  e.,  a  recurrence  of  the  content  of  consciousness  of 
a  moment  during  an  incident  that  occurred  more 
than  twenty  years  before,  when  she  was  a  young 
girl  about  18  years  of  age.  At  the  time  as  the  result 
of  a  nervous  shock  she  had  fainted,  and  just  before 
losing  consciousness  she  definitely  thought  her 
symptoms  meant  death.  At  this  thought  she  became 
frightened,  and  ever  since  she  has  been  afraid  of 
fainting.  There  was  no  conscious  association  be- 
tween her  phobia  and  this  youthful  episode.  When 
the  memory  of  the  latter  was  recovered  she  re- 
marked, ' '  I  wonder  why  I  never  thought  of  that  be- 
fore. ' ' 

But  this  again  was  not  all.  A  searching  investi- 
gation of  the  unconscious  (residua)  in  deep  hypno- 
sis revealed  the  fact  that  death  from  fainting  was 
organized  with  still  wider  experiences  involving  a 
fear  of  death.  At  the  moment  of  the  nervous  shock 
just  before  fainting  (fancied  as  dying)  she  thought 
of  her  mother  who  was  dangerously  ill  from  cancer 
in  an  adjoining  room,  and  a  great  fear  swept  over 
her  at  the  thought  of  what  might  happen  to  her 
mother  if  she  should  hear  of  the  cause  of  her  (the 
patient's)  nervous  shock  and  of  her  death.  It 
further  transpired  that  the  idea  of  death  and  fear  of 


THE    FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        359 

it  were  set  in  a  still  larger  series  of  experiences.*  It 
had,  indeed,  dated  from  a  childhood  experience  when 
she  was  eight  years  of  age.  At  that  time  she  was 
frightened  when  a  pet  animal  died  and  a  fear  of 
death  had  been  more  or  less  continuously  present  in 
her  mind  ever  since,  but  not  always  consciously  so ; 
meaning  that  it  was  sometimes  in  awareness  and 
sometimes  in  the  ultra-marginal  zone  of  conscious- 
ness. She  had  been  able  to  conceal  the  fear  until  the 
fainting  episode  occurred  and,  as  she  in  hypnosis 
asserted,  fear  afterward  had  continued  to  be  pres- 
ent more  or  less  persistently,  although  she  was 
not  conscious  of  the  fact  when  awake  (excepting  in 
the  phobic  attacks)  and  it  had  attached  itself  to  va- 
rious ideas  of  intercurrent  illnesses.  But  these 
ideas  could  all  be  reduced  to  two,  fainting  and 
cancer.  Ever  since  her  mother's  illness  and  death 
she  had  a  fear  of  death  from  cancer,  believing  she 
might  inherit  the  disease.  This  thought  and  the 
fear  it  aroused  had  been  constantly  in  her  mind  but 
never  previously  confessed.  It  was  the  real  mean- 
ing of  her  fear  of  illness  which  had  been  conspicuous 
and  puzzling  to  her  physician.  She  had  imagined 

*  Among  them  was  the  following :  A  few  months  later  her  mother 
died.  C.  D.  was  in  the  room  with  the  body,  her  back  turned  toward 
the  bed  where  the  body  lay.  Suddenly  she  was  startled  by  the  win- 
dow curtain  blowing  out  of  the  window.  The  noise  and  the  partial 
vision  of  the  curtain  gave  her  a  start,  for  she  thought  the  body  had 
risen  up  in  bed.  At  this  point,  while  in  hypnosis,  C.  D.  remarked, 
"Ah!  that  explains  the  dream  which  I  am  always  having.  I  am 
constantly  having  a  frightful  dream  of  my  mother  lying  dead  and 
rising  up  as  a  corpse  from  the  bed.  This  dream  always  gives  me  a 
great  terror." 


360  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

that  each  illness  might  mean  cancer,  but  had  suc- 
cessfully concealed  this  thought.  The  idea  of  death 
and  the  fear  it  excited  had  thus  become  constellated 
in  a  large  unconscious  complex  derived  from  past 
experiences  which  included  the  fainting  episode,  her 
mother's  death  from  cancer  and  the  possibility  of 
having  cancer  herself.  This  last  was  still  con- 
sciously believed  and  was  very  real  to  her. 

Without  pursuing  further  the  details  it  is  evident 
that  although  the  meaning  of  fainting — death — was 
in  the  fringe  of  consciousness  and  subconscious, 
it  had  as  a  setting  a  large  group  of  fear-inspiring 
experiences,  more  particularly  those  involving  can- 
cer. But  there  was  no  conscious  association  between 
her  fear  of  fainting  and  that  of  cancer.  Of  this  set- 
ting, during  a  phobic  attack,  only  the  ideas  of  faint- 
ing and  fear-inspiring  death  enter  the  various  zones 
of  consciousness. 

As  to  why  this  apparently  unsophisticated  idea  of 
death  still  persisted  in  connection  with  that  of  faint- 
ing is  another  problem  with  which  we  are  not  con- 
cerned at  this  moment.  We  should  have  to  consider 
more  specifically  the  content  of  the  setting  in  which, 
besides  the  cancer-belief,  probably  subconscious  self- 
reproaches  would  be  found. 

Meaning  may  be  the  conscious  elements  of  a  function- 
ing larger  subconscious  complex. — However,  whatever 
be  its  conscious  constituents,  obviously  mean- 
ing must  be  derived  from  antecedent  experi- 
ences and  without  such  experiences  no  idea  can 


THE   FRINGE    OF    CONSCIOUSNESS        361 

have  meaning.  If,  then,  antecedent  experiences 
determine  the  meaning  of  the  idea,  it  is  theoretically 
possible,  particularly  with  insistent  ideas,  that  the 
conscious  elements  involved  in  meaning  are,  with 
many  ideas  at  least,  only  part  and  parcel  of  a  larger 
complex  which  is  for  the  most  part  unconscious. 
That  is  to  say,  a  portion  of  this  complex — perhaps 
the  larger  portion  represented  by  the  residua  of  past 
experiences — would,  under  this  hypothesis,  be  un- 
conscious while  certain  elements  would  arise  in  con- 
sciousness as  the  meaning  of  a  given  idea.  Under 
such  conditions  a  hidden  subconscious  process  would 
really  determine  the  conscious  setting  which  gives 
the  meaning.  The  whole  setting  would  be  partly 
conscious  and  partly  hidden  in  the  unconscious. 
Such  a  mechanism  may  be  roughly  likened  to  that  of 
a  clock,  so  far  as  concerns  the  relation  of  the  chimes 
and  hands  to  the  works  concealed  inside  the  case. 
Though  the  visible  hands  and  the  audible  chimes  ap- 
pear to  indicate  the  time,  the  real  process  at  work  is 
that  of  the  hidden  mechanism.  To  inhibit  the  chime 
or  regulate  the  time  rate  the  mechanism  must  be  al- 
tered. And  so  with  an  insistent  idea :  The  uncon- 
scious part  of  the  complex  setting  must  be  altered  to 
alter  the  meaning  of  the  idea.  Of  course  the  analogy 
must  not  be  carried  too  far  as  in  the  case  of  the  clock 
the  chimes  and  hands  are  only  epiphenomena,  while 
conscious  ideas  are  elements  in  the  functioning 
mechanism. 

Such  a  theory  would  afford  an  adequate  explana- 
tion of  the  psychogenesis  and  mechanism  of  certain 


362  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

pathological  ideas  such  as  the  phobia  of  C.  D.  At 
any  rate,  it  is  plain  that  an  explanation  of  such  ideas 
must  be  sought,  on  the  one  hand,  in  their  meanings 
and  in  the  antecedent  experiences  to  which  they  are 
related,  and,  on  the  other,  in  the  processes  which  de- 
termine their  insistency  or  fixation. 

The  facts  which  support  this  theory,  to  which  our 
studies  have  led  us,  we  will  take  up  for  consideration 
in  our  next  lecture. 


LECTURE   XII 

SETTINGS    OF   IDEAS    AS    SUBCONSCIOUS   PROCESSES 
IN   OBSESSIONS 

In  our  last  lecture  we  were  led  to  two  conclusions : 

(1)  that  the  conscious  elements  which  are  the  mean- 
ing of  an  idea  may  be  in  the  marginal  zones;  and 

(2)  more  important,  that  ''meaning"  may  be  only 
a  part  of  a  larger  setting  of  antecedent  experiences, 
which  is  an  unconscious  complex. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  further  question  raised 
in  the  theory  finally  proposed ;  namely,  whether  the 
submerged  elements  of  a  complex  remain  quies- 
cent or  whether,  in  some  cases  at  least,  this  por- 
tion functions  subconsciously  and  takes  part  as  an 
active  factor  in  the  whole  process  by  which  the 
meaning  of  an  idea  and  its  accompanying  emotional 
tone  invades  the  content  of  consciousness.  If  the 
latter  be  true,  a  hidden  subconscious  process  would, 
according  to  the  theory  (to  repeat  what  was  pre- 
viously said),  really  determine  the  conscious  setting 
which  gives  the  meaning.  Such  a  mechanism  was 
roughly  likened  to  that  of  a  clock.  If  such  were  the 
mechanism  in  insistent  ideas,  obsessions,  and  impul- 
sions, it  would,  as  I  have  intimated,  explain  their 
insistency,  their  persisting  recurrence,  the  difficulty 

363 


364  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

in  modifying  them,  notwithstanding  the  subject 
realizes  their  falsity,  the  point  of  view  often  inex- 
plicable to  the  subject,  and  the  persistence  of  the 
affect.  There  is  a  constant  striving  of  affective  sub- 
conscious processes,  when  stimulated,  to  carry  them- 
selves to  fulfilment.  Consequently  as  we  know  from 
numerous  observations,  the  feelings  and  emotions 
(pleasantness  and  unpleasantness,  exaltation  and 
depression;  fear,  anger,  etc.)  pertaining  to  subcon- 
scious processes  tend  to  emerge  into  consciousness;* 
and  likewise  ideational  constituents  of  the  process 
often  emerge  into  the  fringe  of  the  content  of  con- 
sciousness and  even  the  focus  of  awareness.  Given 
such  a  subconsciously  functioning  setting  to  an  idea, 
it  would  necessarily  tend  by  the  impulsive  force  of 
its  emotion  to  make  the  latter  insistent,  and  resist 
the  inhibiting  control  of  the  personal  consciousness. 

In  the  case  of  C.  D.,  cited  in  the  last  lecture,  we 
were  led  to  the  conclusion,  as  the  result  of  analysis, 
that  her  insistent  phobia  might  be  due  to  the  impul- 
sive force  of  such  subconscious  complexes.  The 
whole  problem  is  a  very  difficult  one,  dealing 
as  we  are  with  complicated  mechanisms  and  such 
elusive  and  fluid  factors  as  conscious  and  subcon- 
scious processes.  It  is  useless,  therefore,  to  attempt 
to  formulate  the  mechanisms  with  anything  like  sci- 
entific exactness. 

It  must  be  borne  in  mind,  further,  that  the 
method  of  analysis  (employed  with  C.  D.),  meaning 

*  Janet:  The  Mental  States  of  Hystericals,  pp.  289-290.  Prince: 
The  Dissociation,  pp.  132-5,  262,  297-8,  324-5,  497. 


PROCESSES   IN    OBSESSIONS  365 

thereby  the  bringing  to  light  associated  memories 
of  past  experiences,  cannot  positively  demonstrate 
that  those  experiences  take  part  as  the  causal  fac- 
tor in  a  present  process.  It  can  demonstrate  the 
sequence  of  mental  events,  and,  therefore,  each  suc- 
cessive link  in  a  chain  of  evidence  leading  to  the 
final  act;  or  it  can  demonstrate  the  material  out  of 
which  we  can  select  with  a  greater  or  less  degree 
of  probability  the  factor  which,  in  accordance  with 
a  theory — in  this  case  that  of  subconscious  processes 
— seems  most  likely  to  be  the  causal  factor.  Thus  in 
the  analysis  of  a  bacterial  culture  we  can  select  the 
one  which  seems  on  various  considerations  to  be  the 
most  likely  cause  of  an  etiologically  undetermined 
disease,  but  for  actual  demonstration  we  must  em- 
ploy synthetic  methods;  that  is,  actually  reproduce 
the  disease  by  inoculation  with  a  bacterium.  So 
with  psychological  processes  synthetic  methods  are 
required  for  positive  demonstration. 

We  have  available  synthetic  methods  in  hypnotic 
procedures.  These  give,  it  seems  to  me,  positive  re- 
sults of  value.  If  a  subject  is  hypnotized  and  in  this 
state  a  complex  is  formed,  it  will  be  found  that  this 
complex  will  determine,  after  the  subject  is  awak- 
ened, the  point  of  view  and  therefore  the  meaning  of 
the  central  idea  when  it  comes  into  consciousness, 
and  this  though  the  subject  has  complete  amnesia 
for  the  hypnotic  experience.  In  this  manner,  if  the 
idea  is  one  which  previously  had  a  very  definite  and 
undesirable  meaning  which  we  wish  to  eradicate,  we 


366  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

can  organize  a  complex  which  shall  include  that 
idea  and  yet  give  it  a  very  different  meaning,  pro- 
vided it  is  one  acceptable  to  the  subject. 

To  take  simple  examples,  and  to  begin  with  a  hy- 
pothetical case,  but  one  which  in  practice  I  have  fre- 
quently duplicated :  A  subject  is  hypnotized  and  al- 
though, in  fact,  the  day  is  a  beautifully  fair  one  we 
point  out  that  it  is  really  disagreeable  because  the 
sunshine  is  glowing  and  hot;  that  such  weather 
means  dusty  roads,  drought,  the  drying  up  of  the 
water  supply,  the  withering  of  the  foliage,  that  the 
country  needs  rain,  etc.  We  further  assert  that  this 
will  be  the  subject's  point  of  view.  In  this  way  we 
form  a  cluster  of  ideas  as  a  setting  to  the  weather 
which  gives  it,  fair  as  it  is,  an  entirely  different  and 
unpleasant  meaning  and  one  which  is  accepted.  The 
subject  is  now  awakened  and  has  complete  amnesia 
for  the  hypnotic  experience.  When  attention  is  di- 
rected to  the  weather  it  is  found  that  his  point  of 
view,  for  the  time  being  at  least,  is  changed  from 
what  it  was  before  being  hypnotized.  The  percep- 
tion of  the  clear  sky  and  the  sunlight  playing  upon 
the  ground  includes  secondary  images  of  heat,  of 
dust,  of  withered  foliage,  etc.,  such  as  have  been 
previously  experienced  on  disagreeable,  hot,  dusty 
days,  and  some  of  the  associated  thoughts  with  their 
affects  suggested  in  hypnosis  arise  in  consciousness ; 
perhaps  only  a  few,  but,  if  he  continues  to  think 
about  the  weather,  perhaps  many.  Manifestly  the 
new  setting  formed  in  hypnosis  has  been  switched 
into  association  with  the  conscious  perceptions  of 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  367 

the  environment  and  has  induced  the  secondary  im- 
ages and  associated  thoughts,  emotions,  and  feelings 
which  give  meaning.  But  it  is  equally  manifest, 
though  many  elements  bubble  up,  so  to  speak,  from 
the  unconscious  setting  into  consciousness,  that  most 
of  this  setting  remains  submerged  in  the  uncon- 
scious. 

In  similar  fashion  I  made  a  subject  regard,  meta- 
phorically speaking,  as  a  cesspool  for  sewage  a  river 
which  was  being  converted  into  a  beautiful  water 
park  by  a  dam.*  It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  cite 
additional  observations. 

Manifestly  such  phenomena  belong  to  the  well- 
known  class  of  so-called  "suggested  post-hypnotic 
phenomena."  These  we  have  already  seen  (solu- 
tion of  problems  predetermined  actions,  &c.,  Lec- 
ture VI)  require  the  postulate  of  a  subconscious 
process.  It  is  therefore  difficult  to  resist  the  conclu- 
sion that,  when  the  suggested  phenomenon  is  the 
"meaning"  of  an  idea,  this  also  involves  a  subcon- 
scious process — that  a  hypnotically  organized  set- 
ting functioning  subconsciously  ejects  the  meaning 
into  consciousness.  In  other  words,  the  unconscious 
setting  is  a  part  of  the  whole  "psychosis"  or  com- 
plex, a  factor  in  the  functioning  mechanism;  it  is 
dynamic  and  not  merely  static,  and  is  a  func- 
tioning part  of  the  "psychic  whole"  of  the  given 
ideas  (sign,  perception,  and  meaning).  To  use  the 
analogy  of  the  clock,  the  unconscious  part  of  the 

*  The  Unconscious,  Journal  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-May, 
1909. 


368  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

complex  corresponds  in  a  way  to  the  works  and  de- 
termines what  shall  appear  in  consciousness.  In  the 
case  of  the  ideas  of  everyday  life,  and  particularly 
of  pathological  insistent  ideas,  unconscious  com- 
plexes can  be  shown,  by  methods  of  analysis  and  by 
interpretation,  to  be  existent  and  to  be  settings.  We 
therefore  infer  that  they  similarly  take  part  in  the 
functioning  process  of  ideation.  But,  as  I  have  said, 
as  any  idea  has  many  different  settings  and  asso- 
ciated complexes,  it  is  difficult  to  determine  by  this 
method  with  positiveness  which  setting  or  other 
complex,  if  any,  is  in  activity  and  takes  part  in  the 
process.  Hence  the  different  theories  that  have  been 
offered  to  explain  the  precise  psychogenesis  of  in- 
sistent ideas. 

Therapeutic  application — By  similar  procedures  in  a 
very  large  number  of  instances,  for  therapeutic 
purposes,  I  have  changed  the  setting,  the  viewpoint, 
and  the  meaning  of  ideas  without  any  realization  on 
the  patient's  part  of  the  reason  for  this  change. 
This  is  the  goal  of  psychotherapy,  and  in  my  judg- 
ment the  one  fundamental  principle  common  to  all 
technical  methods  of  such  treatment,  different  as 
these  methods  appear  to  be  when  superficially  con- 
sidered. 

It  is  obvious  that  in  everyday  life  when  by  argu- 
ments, persuasion,  suggestion,  punishment,  exhorta- 
tion, or  prayer  we  change  the  viewpoint  of  a  person, 
we  do  so  by  building  up. complexes  which  shall  act 
as  settings  and  give  new  meanings  to  his  ideas.  I 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  369 

may  add,  if  we  wish  to  sway  him  to  carry  this  new 
viewpoint  to  fulfilment  through  action  we  introduce 
into  the  complex  an  emotion  which  by  the  driving 
force  of  its  impulses  shall  carry  the  ideas  to  prac- 
tical fruition.  This  is  the  art  of  the  orator  in  sway- 
ing audiences  to  his  views.  Shakespeare  has  given 
us  a  classic  example  in  Marc  Antony's  speech  to  the 
Koman  populace. 

The  practical  application  to  therapeutics  of  these 
principles  of  rearranging  the  setting  of  a  perception 
by  artificial  complex  building  may  be  seen  from  the 
following  actual  case,  which  I  have  already  cited  in 
previous  contributions.* 

I  suggest  to  B.  C.  A.  in  hypnosis  ideas  of  well- 
being,  of  recovery  from  her  infirmity;  I  picture  a 
future  roseate  with  hope,  stimulate  her  ambitions 
with  suggestions  of  duties  to  be  performed,  deeds 
to  be  accomplished.  With  all  this  there  goes  an 
emotional  tone  of  exaltation  which  takes  the  place 
of  the  depression  and  of  the  sense  of  failure  previ- 
ously present.  This  emotional  tone  gives  increased 
energy  to  her  organization,  revitalizing,  as  it  were, 
her  psycho-physiological  processes  [and  by  conflict 
represses  the  previously  dissociating  affect  and  sen- 
timent] .  The  whole  I  weave  artfully  and  designedly 
into  a  complex.  Whatever  neurotic  symptoms  were 
previously  present  I  do  not  allow  to  enter  this  com- 
plex. Indeed,  the  complex  is  such  that  they  are  in- 

*  Morton  Prince:  (Psychotherapeutics;  A  Symposium.  Richard 
G.  Badger,  Boston,  1910.)  Also  The  Unconscious,  Journal  of  Abnor- 
mal Psychology,  April-May,  and  June-July,  1909. 


370  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

compatible  with  it.  The  headache,  nausea,  and  other 
bodily  discomforts,  pure  functional  disturbances  in 
this  instance,  are  dissociated  and  cease  to  torment. 
After  "waking"  there  is  complete  amnesia  for  the 
complex.  Yet  it  is  still  organized,  for  it  can  be  re- 
covered again  in  hypnosis.  It  is  simply  dormant. 
But  the  emotional  tone  still  persists  after  waking, 
and  invades  the  personal  synthesis,  which  takes  on 
a  correspondingly  ecstatic  tone.  The  aspect  of  her 
environment,  her  conception  of  her  relation  to  the 
world  and  her  past,  present,  and  future  mental  life 
have  become  colored,  so  to  speak,  by  the  new  feeling, 
as  if  under  a  new  light.  But,  more  than  this,  new 
syntheses  have  been  formed  with  new  tones.  If  we 
probe  deep  enough  we  find  that  many  ideas  of  the 
dormant  complex  have,  through  association  with  the 
environment  (point  de  repere),  become  interwoven 
with  those  of  the  previous  personal  consciousness 
and  given  all  a  new  meaning.  A  moment  ago  [her 
view  was  that]  she  was  an  invalid,  incapacitated,  ex- 
iled from  her  social  and  family  life,  etc.  What  was 
there  to  look  forward  to !  Now :  What  of  that?  She 
is  infinitely  better ;  what  a  tremendous  gain ;  at  such 
a  rate  of  progress  in  a  short  time  a  new  life  will  be 
open  to  her,  etc. — a  radically  new  point  of  view. 
Now,  too,  she  feels  buoyant  with  health  and  energy, 
ready  to  start  afresh  on  her  crusade  for  health  and 
life.  Her  neurotic  symptoms  have  vanished.  Such 
is  the  change  that  she  gratefully  speaks  of  it  as  the 
work  of  a  wizard.  But  the  mechanism  of  the  trans- 
formation is  simple  enough.  The  exaltation,  artifi- 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  371 

cially  suggested  in  hypnosis,  persists,  altering  the 
trend  of  her  ideas  and  giving  new  energy.  The  per- 
ceptions of  her  environment,  cognition  of  herself, 
etc.,  have  entered  into  new  syntheses  which  the  in- 
troduction of  new  ideas,  new  points  of  view  have 
developed ;  thus  the  content  of  her  ideas  has  taken  a 
definite,  precise  shape.  Whence  came  these  new 
ideas  T  They  seem  to  her  to  have  come  miraculously, 
for  she  has  forgotten  the  hypnotic  complex.  But 
forgetting  an  experience  is  not  equivalent  to  its  not 
having  happened,  or  to  that  experience  not  having 
been  a  part  of  one 's  own  psychic  life.  The  hypnotic 
consciousness  remains  a  part  of  one's  self  (as  a 
neurographic  complex),  however  absolutely  we  have 
lost  awareness  of  it.  Its  experiences  become  fixed, 
though  dormant,  just  as  do  the  experiences  of  our 
personal  conscious  life.  The  mechanism  is  the  same. 
The  following  letter  from  this  patient,  received 
by  chance  after  these  paragraphs  were  written,  well 
expresses  the  psychological  conditions  following 
hypnotic  suggestion: 

"Something  has  happened  to  me — I  have  a  new  point  of  view. 
I  don't  know  what  has  changed  me  so  all  at  once,  but  it  is  as  if 
scales  had  fallen  from  my  eyes;  I  see  things  differently.  That 

affair  at  L was  nothing  to  be  ashamed  of,  Dr.  Prince.     I 

showed  none  of  the  common  sense  which  I  really  possess ;  I  regret 
it  bitterly;  but  I  was  not  myself,  and  even  as  [it  was]  I  did  noth- 
ing to  be  ashamed  of — quite  the  contrary,  indeed.  .  .  .  Any- 
way, for  some  reason — I  don't  know  why,  but  perhaps  you  do — I 
have  regained  my  own  self-respect  and  find  to  my  amazement  that 
I  need  never  have  lost  it.  You  know  what  I  was  a  year  ago — 
you  know  what  I  am  now — not  much  to  be  proud  of,  perhaps; 


372  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

but  I  am  the  work  of  your  hands,  and  a  great  improvement  on 
[my  poor  old  self].  I  owe  you  what  is  worth  far  more  than  life 
itself  .  .  .  namely,  the  desire  to  live.  You  have  given  me  life 
and  you  have  given  me  something  to  fill  it  with  ...  I  feel 
more  like  myself  than  for  a  long  time.  I  am  'my  own  man 
again,'  so  to  say,  and  if  you  keep  me  and  help  me  a  little  longer 
I  shall  be  well." 

In  interpreting  the  phenomena  it  must  be  remem- 
bered that  in  such  suggestive  experiments  the  sub- 
ject after  waking  has  complete  amnesia  for  the 
whole  hypnotic  experience,  for  all  the  ideas  which 
were  organized  into  the  complex  to  form  the  set- 
ting. And  yet  this  viewpoint,  in  spite  of  this  am- 
nesia, is  that  which  was  suggested,  and  he  does  not 
know  why  his  view  has  changed.  That  a  large  frac- 
tion of  the  hypnotic  complex  (or  setting)  remains 
submerged  in  the  unconscious  can  be  readily  shown. 
The  only  question  is  whether  it  becomes  an  active 
subconscious  process  out  of  which  certain  elements 
emerge  as  meaning  into  consciousness. 

The  setting  in  obsessions — This  question  of  the  func- 
tioning of  unconscious  complexes  as  subconscious 
processes  is  of  fundamental  importance  for  psy- 
chology, whether  normal  or  abnormal,  and  if  well  es- 
tablished gives  an  entirely  new  aspect  to  its  prob- 
lems. We  cannot  therefore  be  too  exacting  in  de- 
manding proof  for  the  postulation  of  subconscious 
processes  as  part  of  the  mechanisms  we  are  consid- 
ering, or,  at  least,  requiring  sufficient  evidence  to 
justify  them  as  a  reasonable  theory.  If  assumed  as 


PROCESSES   IN    OBSESSIONS  373 

an  hypothesis  many  otherwise  obscure  phenomena 
become  intelligible  by  one  or  other  theory  making 
use  of  them. 

Let  us  examine  for  a  moment  the  obsessions  as 
one  of  the  most  important  problems  with  which  ab- 
normal psychology  has  to  deal,  and  which  offer 
themselves  as  exaggerated  examples  of  ideas  with 
insistent  meanings.  The  phenomena  are  psycho- 
logical and  physical.  •  They  occur  in  a  sporadic  form, 
as  well  as  in  a  recurring  obsessional  form.  Let  us 
consider  them  simply  as  phenomena  irrespective  of 
recurrence.  They  may  be  arranged  by  gradations 
in  types  in  which  they  appear : 

A,  as  purely  physical  disturbances ; 

B,  as  physical  disturbances  plus  conscious  emo- 
tion; 

C,  as  physical  disturbances  plus  conscious  emo- 
tion plus  a  specific  idea  of  the  object  of  the  emotion, 
but  without  logical  meaning; 

D,  as  physical  disturbances  plus  emotion  plus  idea 
plus  meaning. 

In  the  first  type  the  physical  phenomena  (such 
as  commonly  attend  emotion)  can  be  traced  to  a 
functioning  subconscious  emotional  complex  of 
which  the  phenomena  are  physical  manifestations; 
in  the  second  to  a  functioning  subconscious  complex 
ejecting  its  emotion  into  consciousness.  In  the  third 
we  find  by  analysis  an  associated  unconscious  com- 
plex (setting),  which  logically  would  account  for  the 
emotion  of  the  obsessing  idea,  and  infer,  by  analogy 
with  A  and  B,  that  it  is  a  dynamic  factor  in  the 


374  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

psychosis.  In  the  fourth  we  find  a  similar  complex, 
which  logically  would  account  for  all  the  physical 
and  conscious  phenomena. 

Type  A :  The  following  observation  may  be  cited 
as  an  example.  At  the  conclusion  of  some  experi- 
ments, made  on  one  subject  in  the  presence  of  an- 
other patient  and  while  conversing  socially  at  after- 
noon tea,  I  noticed  that  the  subject  manifested 
marked  tremor  of  the  hands  to  such  an  extent  that 
the  cup  in  her  hand  shook  and  rattled  in  its  saucer. 
She  herself  commented  on  the  fact,  and  laughingly 
remarked  that  she  did  not  know  what  was  the  mat- 
ter with  her;  at  times  she  would  "get  awfully  hot 
all  over  and  would  break  out  in  perspiration. ' '  She 
could  give  no  explanation  of  this  phenomenon  which 
had  not  been  present  before  the  experiments  were 
begun.  The  subject  was  now  put  into  deep  hypnosis, 
in  a  state  in  which  communication  was  obtained  only 
by  writing,  and  thereby  the  subconscious  tapped. 
Without  going  into  all  the  details,  the  sum  and  sub- 
stance of  the  information  obtained  in  this  hypnotic 
state  was  this:  coconscious  images  (pictures),  of 
which  she  was  not  consciously  aware,  kept  coming 
and  going ;  these  were  the  coconscious  phenomena  I 
have  previously  described  (p.  169).  When  certain 
images  appeared  coconsciously  the  tremor  devel- 
oped, and  when  others  appeared  the  tremor  ceased ; 
when  still  others  appeared  there  were  vasomotor 
disturbances  and  perspiration  as  well  as  tremor. 

The  images  as  I  interpret  them  were  the  sec- 


PROCESSES   IN    OBSESSIONS  375 

ondary  images  belonging  to  subconscious  ideas  or 
processes.*  To  understand  the  conditions  in  this  in- 
stance it  will  be  necessary  to  explain  certain  ante- 
cedent facts.  I  had  arranged  to  make  certain  hyp- 
notic and  other  experiments  on  two  patients  in  the 
presence  of  each  other.  The  one  in  question,  the 
subject  of  this  observation,  hesitated  to  have  them 
made  on  herself  in  the  presence  of  a  second  person, 
fearing  lest  the  various  subconscious  phenomena 
which  she  exhibited  would  be  regarded  as  stigmata 
and  she  be  thought  " queer."  Each,  of  course, 
wished  to  see  the  experiments  on  the  other.  The 
subject  in  question  had  for  a  long  time  been  rather 
obsessed  with  the  insistent  foolish  idea  that  if 
people  knew  she  manifested  these  phenomena  they 
would  not  care  to  know  her  socially.  It  was  a 
point  of  view  which  had  been  more  or  less  obsti- 
nately maintained  in  spite  of  all  contradictory  argu- 
ments. The  idea  had  specifically  recurred  from  time 
to  time  in  particular  situations,  and  had  caused  con- 
siderable emotional  disturbance.  If  not  a  true  ob- 
session it  was  close  to  one.  Nevertheless  she  wanted 
to  take  part  both  for  the  object  of  seeing  the  ex- 
periments and  also  of  meeting  the  second  patient. 
Still  there  were  anxious  doubts  and  scruples  in  her 
mind  arising  from  her  desire,  on  the  one  hand,  and 
a  fear,  on  the  other,  that  it  was  a  social  mistake  to 
do  so.  This  had  been  going  on  during  several  days 
and  had  been  even  the  subject  of  correspondence, 
discussions,  etc.  It  was  only  at  the  last  moment 

*See  p.  178,  Lecture  VI. 


376  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

that  she  could  screw  up  her  courage  to  take  part  in 
the  experiments. 

Finally  the  experiments  were  made,  with  the  re- 
sult as  above  stated.  Now  the  coconscious  images 
which  were  accompanied  by  the  tremors,  etc.,  were 
pictures  of  herself,  of  the  second  patient,  and  of 
myself.  These  images  coming  and  going  seemed, 
as  in  a  pantomime,  to  symbolize  her  previous 
thoughts.  Sometimes  the  image  of  the  second  pa- 
tient turned  away  from  the  subject,  sometimes  the 
three  images  were  present,  but  the  one  of  the  subject 
stood  apart  from  the  others  as  if  an  outcast,  and  in 
both  these  latter  cases  particularly  she  would  shake 
with  tremor,  and  would  "get  awfully  hot  all  over," 
and  break  out  in  perspiration.  Then  apparently 
reassuring  pictures  would  come  and  the  tremor 
would  cease. 

Besides  these  coconscious  images  there  was  a 
train  of  coconscious  thought  of  which  she  was  not 
personally  aware.  There  was  the  thought  that  per- 
haps, after  all,  it  was  a  mistake  to  have  taken  part 
in  the  experiments,  as  X,  the  second  patient,  was 
not  a  physician,  and  her  wish  to  see  the  subject 
hypnotized  must  have  been  largely  curiosity.  Of 
this  train  of  thought  the  subject  was  not  aware. 
At  the  same  time  concurrently  there  was  in  her  per- 
sonal consciousness  the  "thought  that  she  liked  X, 
that  it  was  very  good  of  her  to  have  come,  and 
awfully  kind  of  you  to  take  your  time  to  conduct  the 
experiments."  There  was  also  a  conscious  emotion 
of  pleasure  and  something  akin  to  hope,  and  nerv- 


PROCESSES   IN    OBSESSIONS  377 

ousness  at  the  situation.  By  contrast  coconsciously 
there  was  a  greater  feeling  of  nervousness  and  the 
emotion  of  fear  of  which  she  was  not  consciously 
aware.  By  a  few  appropriate  suggestions  all  these 
phenomena  were  made  to  disappear. 

It  would  take  us  too  long  and  be  too  much  of  a 
digression  to  go  more  deeply  into  these  subcon- 
scious phenomena.  From  what  has  been  given, 
which  is  corroborated  by  a  large  number  of  observa- 
tions of  the  same  sort,  it  seems  to  me  we  are  justi- 
fied in  concluding  that  the  physical  manifestations 
of  emotion  (tremor,  etc.)  in  the  instance  were  de- 
termined by  subconscious  processes  which  were  the 
functioning  residua  of  antecedent  thoughts  with 
their  emotions. 

But  more  than  this  these  antecedent  thoughts 
were  obsessing  ideas  of  self-abasement,  i.  e.,  of  her- 
self as  a  person  who  socially  was  stamped  with  a 
stigma  and,  therefore,  as  a  sort  of  outcast.  These 
thoughts  had  formed  one  setting  to  the  actual  situ- 
ation in  which  she  found  herself.  The  subconscious 
complex,  therefore,  contained  a  perception  plus  the 
meaning  of  the  situation  plus  emotion;  in  other 
words,  the  whole  of  the  psychosis  including  the  af- 
fect was  subconscious  in  that  none  of  its  elements 
emerged  into  consciousness.  Another  and  rival  per- 
ception of  the  situation  was  that  which  was  actually 
in  consciousness  and  which  has  been  described.  The 
physical  phenomena  were  the  manifestation  of  the 
subconscious  affect  and  would  have  been  equally 
manifested  if  the  affect  had  become  conscious.  In 


378  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

such  a  case,  then,  we  may  say  the  whole  of  one  set- 
ting actually  functions  subconsciously. 

The  case  of  H.  0.  is  the  same  in  principle  as  I  in- 
terpret it,  but  is  distinguished  by  the  fact  that  the 
dissociation  of  processes  was  not  so  extreme.  The 
obsessing  idea  was  in  the  ultramarginal  zone  of  con- 
sciousness and,  to  this  extent,  subconscious.  Briefly 
stated,  H.  0.  for  many  years  was  the  victim  of  an 
intense  obsession,  in  consequence  of  which  she  had 
practically  foregone  social  life,  and  found  herself 
unable  to  travel  for  fear  she  would  be  afflicted  with 
her  psychosis  in  trains,  etc.  The  physical  symptom 
was  intense  nausea  suddenly  arising  as  an  attack. 
When  attacked  with  this  there  developed  also  de- 
pression and  a  mental  state  which  is  perhaps  best 
described  as  a  mood.  She  could  give  no  explanation 
of  the  attacks.  On  examination  it  developed  that 
always  in  the  ''background  of  her  mind,"  just  pre- 
ceding the  attack,  there  came  the  idea  of  disgust  of 
self.  At  once  the  nausea  as  the  physical  expression 
of  disgust  was  experienced.  The  disgust-idea  was 
always  excited  by  some  associated  stimulus.  The 
meaning  of  this  "sentiment"  was  set  in  a  large  com- 
plex of  past  experiences.  Into  all  this  I  will  not  go. 
The  point  is  that  the  only  conscious  elements  of  her 
obsession  were  in  the  extreme  fringe  of  conscious- 
ness, sufficiently  dissociated  to  be  practically  cocon- 
scious,*  but  the  physical  symptoms  were  distress- 
ingly prominent.  Relief  was  easily  effected  simply 

*  Memory   of   them   could   only   be  obtained   in   abstraction   and 
hypnosis. 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  379 

by  organizing  a  new  complex  giving  a  new  point  of 
view  of  self. 

Complexes  consisting  entirely  of  the  physiological 
manifestations  of  emotion  without  conscious  emo- 
tion undoubtedly  occur.  A  long  time  ago  I  de- 
scribed such  a  neurosis  under  the  name  of  Fear 
Neurosis  *  in  distinction  from  psychosis.  The  symp- 
tom complex  was  interpreted  as  a  persisting  autom- 
atism derived  from  antecedent  fear  states  that  had 
been  outgrown.  From  our  present  standpoint  and 
fuller  knowledge  we  must  believe  that  underlying 
this  automatism  is  probably  an  unconscious  complex 
of  these  antecedent  experiences  including  the  fear 
which  takes  part  in  the  functioning  mechanism.  It 
may  be  called,  then,  a  subconscious  psychosis. 

True  hysterical  laughter  and  crying  are  undoubt- 
edly phenomena  of  this  type  and  due  to  the  same 
mechanism.  These  phenomena  are  well  known  to  be 
purely  automatic ;  that  is  to  say,  they  are  emotional 
manifestations  unaccompanied  in  consciousness  by 
thoughts  or  even  by  emotions  corresponding  to 
them.  The  subject  laughs  or  cries  without  knowing 
why  and  without  even  feeling  merry  or  sad.  I  for- 
bear to  digress  sufficiently  to  present  the  evidence 
for  the  interpretation  that  the  phenomena  are  due 
to  subconscious  processes  of  the  kind  just  described. 
Let  me  merely  say  that  in  one  instance,  N.  0.,  in- 
tensely studied,  the  automatic  crying  was  traced  by 
experimental  and  clinical  methods  to  a  persisting 

*  Fear  Neurosis,  Boston  Med.  and  Surg.  Journal,  September  28, 
1898. 


380  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

and  often  insistent  subconscious  childhood's  percep- 
tion and  meaning  of  self — as  a  lonely,  unhappy  child. 
This  perception,  etc.,  could  be  differentiated  from 
the  conscious  perception  belonging  to  adult  age. 

Numerous  observations  of  emotional  phenomena 
similar  in  principle  have  been  recorded  in  the  case 
of  Miss  B.*  These  observations  included  automatic 
facial  expressions  of  pleasure,  anger,  and  fear. 
These  expressions  could  always  be  traced  to  sub- 
conscious processes  and  in  this  case  to  actual  ideas 
of  a  coconscious  personality.  But  the  principle  is 
the  same.  Sometimes  the  affect  linked  to  the  process 
wetted  up  into  consciousness  and  sometimes  it  did 
not.  When,  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.,  the  automatic 
phenomena  were  determined  by  coconscious  ideas  it 
was  because  the  perceptions  of  the  secondary  sub- 
conscious personality  had  a  humorous,  angry,  or 
fear  setting,  as  the  case  might  be.  These  particular 
observations  are  of  especial  interest  because  they 
allow  us  to  clearly  distinguish  at  almost  one  and  the 
same  moment  the  different  manifestations  corre- 
sponding to  the  different  settings  with  which  the 
same  idea  may  be  clustered.  While,  for  instance, 
the  personal  consciousness  of  Miss  B.  perceived  a 
person  or  situation  with  apprehension  and  mani- 
fested this  apprehension  in  her  facial  expression  as 
well  as  verbally,  the  subconscious  perception  of  the 
same  person  or  situation  was  one  of  joy  which  broke 
through  Miss  B.'s  apprehensive  feature  in  auto- 

*  The  Dissociation,  see  index,  ' '  Subconscious  Ideas, ' '  and  ' '  Sub- 
conscious Self." 


PROCESSES   IN    OBSESSIONS  381 

matic  smiles.  In  other  words,  two  different  percep- 
tions (with  opposite  meanings)  of  one  and  the  same 
object  functioned  at  the  same  time. 

These  observations,  as  interpreted,  are  of  wider 
significance  in  that  they  allow  us  to  understand 
the  mechanism  of  many  phenomena  of  everyday 
life.  For  instance,  the  hysteria  of  crowds  may  be 
explained  on  the  same  principle;  likewise  the  out- 
break of  emotional  physical  manifestations  in  a  per- 
son whose  attention  is  absorbed  (abstraction  and  dis- 
traction) in  reading  or  hearing  something  (e.  g.,  at 
a  play),  which,  it  may  be  inferred,  touches  some  in- 
ner emotional  experience  of  his  life.  In  the  kind  of 
instance  I  have  in  mind  introspection  fails  to  reveal 
the  presence  of  conscious  thoughts  or  sometimes 
even  emotions  which  adequately  explain  the  physical 
disturbance.  When  not  abstracted  by  the  reading  or 
play,  the  same  ideas  he  was  attending  to  a  moment 
before  fail  to  excite  these  disturbances. 

As  has  been  said,  "everyone  is  a  little  hysterical," 
meaning  that  under  certain  conditions — particu- 
larly those  of  stress  and  strain  and  strong  emotion 
—the  mind  becomes  a  bit  disintegrated,  and  uncon- 
scious complexes  manifest  themselves  through  what 
are  called  hysterical  symptoms. 

Type  B :  In  this  class  the  subject  is  afflicted  with 
attacks  of  conscious  emotion,  most  conspicuously 
and  commonly  fear,  plus  the  same  physical  dis- 
turbances as  in  type  A,  but  without  any  specific  idea 
in  consciousness  to  which  the  emotion  is  related. 


382  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

When  we  examine  certain  favorable  subjects  like 
Miss  B.,  B.  C.  A.,  H.  0.  and  0.  N.,  in  whom  memories 
of  subconscious  processes  can  be  obtained  by  tech- 
nical procedures,  specific  coconscious  ideas  can  be 
demonstrated  during  the  attacks  of  fear.  These 
ideas  are  those  of  fear  of  some  specific  object.  The 
emotion  pertaining  to  these  ideas  alone  emerges 
into  consciousness,  the  subject  remaining  unaware 
of  the  ideas  themselves.  In  the  case  of  Miss  B. 
numerous  observations  of  this  kind  were  recorded.* 
When  the  obsessing  fear  constantly  recurs  it  is  a 
so-called  "anxiety  neurosis/'  f  as  I  interpret  the 
phenomena. 

A  typically  perfect  example  of  anxiety  neurosis 
was  the  recurring  attacks  of  intense  anxiety  accom- 
panied by  a  feeling  of  suffocation  and  oppression 
of  the  chest  experienced  by  one  of  my  subjects.  In- 
vestigation disclosed  that  the  first  attack  imme- 
diately followed  a  dream  which  was  forgotten,  but 
recovered  in  hypnosis.  It  appeared  that  in  the 
dream  she  was  accused  by  a  certain  person  of  cer- 
tain delinquencies  and  threatened  with  exposure.  At 
this  point  in  the  dream  she  was  overcome  with  fear 
and  anguish  as  in  the  after  attacks.  It  also  appeared 
that  previously  she  had  been  and  still  was  apprehen- 
sive of  this  person's  loyalty.  By  inference  and 
analogy  with  the  well-established  after-phenomena 
of  dreams  (p.  101),  we  must  assume  that  the  dream 

*  The  Dissociation,  loc.  cit. 
t  Ibid.,  p.  132. 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  383 

process   still   functioned   subconsciously   and   pro- 
duced the  anxiety  attacks.* 

In  this  connection  it  is  well  to  notice  that  it  is 
a  common  observation  that  not  only  the  affect  of 
emotion  but  that  of  feeling  also  may  emerge  from 
the  subconscious  into  consciousness  and  color  the 
attitude  of  the  personal  consciousness.  This  may 
be  demonstrated  by  hypnotic  procedures.  "When  in 
hypnosis  complexes  of  ideas  with  strong  feeling 
tones,  whether  of  pleasure  or  displeasure,  of  exalta- 
tion or  depression,  are  suggested,  the  subject  after 
awakening  experiences  these  same  feeling  tones 
which  dominate  the  personality.  The  subject  then 
feels  pleasantly  exalted  or  unpleasantly  depressed, 
as  the  case  may  be,  without  knowing  the  reason 
why.  In  alternating  personalities  the  same  phe- 
nomena may  sometimes  be  observed.  In  the  case 
of  Miss  B.  the  feeling  tones  which  dominated  the 
one  personality  invaded  the  consciousness  of  the 
other  personality,  often  causing  considerable  dis- 
tress after  the  alternation  had  occurred  and  al- 
though there  was  amnesia  for  all  that  had  gone  be- 
fore.f  Thus  BIV  complained  of  the  feelings  of  de- 
pression from  which  BI  shortly  before  had  suf- 
fered, although  her  own  ideas  were  far  from  being 
of  a  depressing  nature.  This  depression  welled  up 

*  It  is  worth  noting  that  this  interpretation  is  supported  by  the 
therapeutic  result.  The  attacks  completely  and  quickly  ceased  after 
the  setting  to  her  apprehensive  idea  was  so  altered,  by  one  single 
explanation,  that  she  no  longer  feared  the  loyalty  of  her  friend. 

t  The  Dissociation,  pp.  262,  297,  298  and  324,  325,  497;  also  The 
Unconscious,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  April-May,  1909. 


384  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

from  the  unconscious.  It  was  in  consequence  of  this 
phenomenon  that  BIV  wrote :  "  BI  's  constant  griev- 
ing wears  on  my  nerves.  It  is  harder  to  endure 
than  one  would  believe  possible.  I  would  rather 
give  and  take  with  Sally — a  thousand  times  rather." 
Likewise  when  a  subject  has  feelings  of  unpleasant- 
ness and  depression  which  he  cannot  explain  it  is 
easy  in  certain  subjects  to  demonstrate  the  concur- 
rence of  coconscious  ideas  with  these  feeling  tones. 
The  affect  in  such  cases  emerges  into  consciousness, 
though  the  subject  is  unaware  of  the  coconscious 
ideas.  Correspondingly  the  feelings  may  be  those 
of  pleasantness  and  exaltation.  The  demonstration 
of  coconscious  processes  as  the  sources  of  the  con- 
scious feelings  of  course  can  only  be  made  in  sub- 
jects in  whom  memories  of  coconscious  processes 
can  be  evoked.  In  such  subjects  I  have  observed 
the  phenomena  on  almost  numberless  occasions.  But 
it  can  be  provoked  in  almost  any  good  hypnotic  sub- 
ject. To  awake  pleasurable  and  exalting  feelings, 
to  substitute  them  for  their  opposite  when  such  are 
present,  belongs  to  therapeutic  art.  The  skillful 
therapeutist  endeavors  to  provoke  the  former  by  the 
various  procedures  at  his  command.  The  important 
principle  underlying  such  procedures  is  that  the 
feeling  tones  pertaining  to  ideas  may  still  invade  the 
personal  consciousness  after  the  ideas  have  become 
dormant  in  the  unconscious. 

This  principle,  it  seems  to  me,  is  of  far-reaching 
application.  The  persistence  of  the  feeling  tone  in 
a  pleasant  or  unpleasant  mental  attitude  after  the 


PROCESSES   IN   OBSESSIONS  385 

experience  giving  rise  to  it  has  become  dormant  is 
observed  in  everyday  life  and  can  be  explained  on 
this  principle.  We  have  an  exalting  experience,  en- 
gage in  a  spirited  game  of  tennis,  watch  an  exciting 
football  match,  or  take  part  in  an  exhilarating  dance. 
For  the  remainder  of  the  day  or  the  next  day  we 
still  experience  all  the  stimulating  pleasurable  feel- 
ing, even  though  in  the  cares  of  our  vocation  the 
memories  of  the  previous  experiences  have  remained 
dormant,  not  having  once  been  called  to  mind.  The 
only  difference  between  such  experiences  of  every- 
day life  and  those  of  hypnosis  is  that  in  one  case  we 
can,  if  we  will,  recall  the  origin  of  the  feeling  and  in 
the  other  we  cannot.  In  both  we  do  not.* 

Dormant  dream  complexes  may  give  rise  to  simi- 
lar phenomena.  In  a  minor  way  everyone,  probably, 
has  experienced  the  persistence  of  the  emotional  ef- 
fects of  a  dream  after  waking  and  after  the  memory 
of  the  dream  has  vanished.  More  commonly,  of 
course,  the  dream  is  remembered,  but  in  the  cases 
of  people  who  do  not  remember  their  dreams  the 
phenomenon  is  precise.  B.  C.  A.,  for  example,  does 
not  as  a  rule  remember  her  dreams,  but  neverthe- 
less frequently  awakes  in  a  state  of  anxiety  or  exal- 
tation which  has  considerable  persistency.  In 
hypnosis  the  dream  which  gives  rise  to  the  emo- 
tional state  is  recovered. 

In  pathological  conditions  these  post-hypnotic, 
hysterical,  dream,  and  other  phenomena  suggest, 

*  Prince:  The  Unconscious,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology, 
April-May  and  June-July,  1909. 


386  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

among  other  questions,  whether  in  depressive  and 
excited  psychoses  the  affective  element  is  not  derived 
from  submerged  unconscious  complexes.  Melan- 
cholias, for  example,  may  in  some  cases  at  least  de- 
rive their  feeling  tone  from  such  complexes. 


LECTUEE  XIII 
TWO  TYPES  OF  PHOBIA 
(Obsessions  Continued) 

Type  C:  In  this  type  the  affect  is  linked  with  an 
idea  as  its  object  in  consciousness  but  without  mean- 
ing, so  that  whenever  this  idea  is  awakened  it  is 
accompanied  by  the  affect  alone.  Some  of  the  pho- 
bias are  the  most  common  pathological  exemplars. 
Nor  is  there  anything  in  the  content  of  conscious- 
ness which  gives  meaning  to  the  idea  as  something 
that  should  occasion  anxiety.  The  subject,  in  other 
words,  does  not  know  why  he  is  afraid  of  the  given 
object.  In  such  cases  the  restoration  of  dormant 
memories  will  disclose  antecedent  experiences  in 
which  the  idea  is  set  and  which  explains  the  origin 
and  meaning  of  the  fear.  Here  again  we  have  the 
principle  shown  in  a  clear  cut  way  in  conditions  of 
alternating  personality.  For  instance  take  the  case 
of  Miss  B.  An  emotion,  apparently  paradoxical, 
would  be  aroused  in  BIV  in  connection  with  a 
strange  person  or  place,  or  in  consequence  of  a 
reference  by  some  one  to  an  unknown  event.  BIV, 
without  apparent  reason,  would  feel  an  intense  emo- 
tion in  connection  with  something  or  other  which 

387 


388  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

she  did  not  remember  to  have  ever  heard  or  seen 
before.  A  face,  a  name,  a  particular  locality  where 
she  happened  to  find  herself  would  arouse  a  strong 
emotional  effect  without  her  knowing  the  reason. 
The  memories  of  the  experiences  to  which  these 
emotions  belonged  were  a  part  of  BPs  life  and 
could  easily  be  recalled  by  her  when  the  personali- 
ties again  alternated  and  BI  came  into  existence. 
When  BIV  came  again  these  experiences,  of  course, 
would  be  forgotten  and  become  dormant,  but  the 
emotions  associated  with  the  visual,  auditory,  and 
other  images  of  a  given  person  or  place,  or  what- 
ever it  might  be,  would  be  liable  to  be  aroused  in 
her  by  the  perception,  in  spite  of  the  amnesia,  when- 
ever the  given  person  or  place,  as  it  might  be,  came 
into  her  daily  life.  Here  the  conscious  content  of 
the  psychosis  consists  of  perception  plus  affect  with- 
out meaning. 

I  formerly  was  inclined  to  interpret  such  para- 
doxical emotions  on  the  principle  of  the  simple  link- 
ing of  an  affect  to  a  perception.  But  when  we  con- 
sider that,  on  the  reversion  of  the  personality  to 
BI  the  perception,  meaning,  and  affect  still  re- 
mained organized  as  a  conscious  psychic  whole,  it  is 
much  more  probable  that  the  meaning  took  part  as 
a  subconscious  process  in  the  mechanism  of  BIV's 
emotional  psychosis  and  was  responsible  for  the 
paradox.  In  the  case  of  recurrent  fears  the  ante- 
cedent experiences  which  contain  their  meaning  are 
conserved  as  unconscious  complexes.  The  psycho- 
sis differs  clinically  from  types  A  and  B  only  in 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  389 

that  another  conscious  element  has  been  added, — 
viz.:  the  idea  of  an  object  of  the  fear.  It  is  con- 
sistent therefore  to  infer  that  the  unconscious  com- 
plexes are  a  submerged  part  of  the  mechanism  by 
which  the  affect  is  maintained  in  association  with 
the  object.  The  conscious  and  the  subconscious 
form  a  psychic  whole. 

As  an  instance  let  us  take  the  following  case  of 
phobia.  It  was  ostensibly  one  of  church-steeples 
and  towers  of  any  kind.  The  patient,  a  woman 
about  forty  years  of  age,  dreaded  and  tried  in  con- 
sequence to  avoid  the  sight  of  one.  When  she  passed 
by  such  a  tower  she  was  very  strongly  affected  emo- 
tionally, experiencing  always  a  feeling  of  terror 
or  anguish  accompanied  by  the  usual  marked  physi- 
cal symptoms.  Sometimes  even  speaking  of  a  tower 
would  at  once  awaken  this  emotional  complex  which 
expressed  itself  outwardly  in  her  face,  as  I  myself 
observed  on  several  occasions.  Considering  the  fre- 
quency with  which  church  and  schoolhouse  towers 
are  met  with  in  everyday  life,  one  can  easily  imagine 
the  discomfort  arising  from  such  a  phobia.  Before 
the  mystery  was  unraveled  she  was  unable  to  give 
any  explanation  of  the  origin  or  meaning  of  this 
phobia,  and  could  not  connect  it  with  any  episode 
in  her  life,  or  even  state  how  far  back  in  her  life 
it  had  existed.  Vaguely  she  thought  it  existed  when 
she  was  about  fifteen  years  of  age  and  that  it  might 
have  existed  before  that.  Now  it  should  be  noted 
that  an  idea  of  a  tower  with  bells  had  in  her  mind 


390  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

no  meaning  whatsoever  that  explained  the  fear.  It 
had  no  more  meaning  than  it  would  have  in  any- 
body's mind.  In  the  content  of  consciousness  there 
was  only  the  perception  plus  emotion  and  no  cor- 
responding meaning.  Accordingly  I  sought  to  dis- 
cover the  origin  and  meaning  of  the  phobia  by  the 
so-called  psycho-analytic  method. 

When  I  attempted  to  recover  the  associated  mem- 
ories by  this  method,  the  mere  mention  of  bells  in 
a  tower  threw  her  into  a  panic  in  which  anxiety, 
"thrills,"  and  perspiration  were  prominent.  Be- 
fore making  the  analysis  I  had  constructed  a  theory 
in  my  mind  to  the  effect  that  a  phobia  for  bells  in 
a  tower  was  a  sexual  symbolism,  being  led  to  this 
partly  by  the  suggestiveness  of  the  object  and 
partly  by  the  fact  that  I  had  found  symbolisms  of 
a  sexual  kind  in  her  dreams.* 

Analysis  was  conducted  at  great  length  and  memo- 
ries covering  a  wide  field  of  experiences  were 
elicited.  When  asked  to  think  of  bells  in  a  tower, 
or  each  of  these  objects  separately,  there  was  at 
first  a  complete  blocking  of  thought  in  that  her  mind 
became  a  blank.  Later,  memories  which  to  a  large 
extent,  but  not  wholly,  played  in  various  relations 
around  her  mother  (who  is  dead)  as  the  central 
object  came  into  the  field  of  consciousness.  Noth- 
ing, however,  was  awakened  that  gave  the  slightest 
meaning  to  the  phobia  even  on  the  wildest  interpre- 
tation. The  patient,  who  had  been  frequently  hyp- 

*  In  making  the  analysis,  therefore,  I  was  in  no  way  antagonistic 
in  my  mind  to  the  Freudian  hypothesis. 


TWO   TYPES   OF  PHOBIA  391 

notized  by  another  physician,  tended  during  the 
analysis  to  go  into  a  condition  of  unusually  deep 
abstraction,  to  such  a  degree  that  on  breaking  off 
the  analysis  she  failed  to  remember,  save  very  im- 
perfectly, the  memories  elicited.  Such  an  abstrac- 
tion is  hypnosis. 

Finally,  after  all  endeavors  to  discover  the  gene- 
sis of  the  phobia  by  analysis  were  in  vain,  I  tried 
another  method.  While  she  was  in  hypnosis  I  put 
a  pencil  in  her  hand  with  the  object  of  obtaining  the 
desired  information  through  automatic  writing. 
While  she  was  narrating  some  irrelevant  memories 
of  her  mother,  the  hand  rapidly  wrote  as  follows: 

* '  G M church  and  my  father  took  my 

mother  to  Bi where  she  died  and  we  went  to 

Br and  they  cut  my  mother.    I  prayed  and 

cried  all  the  time  that  she  would  live  and  the  church 
bells  were  always  ringing  and  I  hated  them." 

When  she  began  to  write  the  latter  part  of  this 
script  she  became  depressed,  sad,  indeed  anguished ; 
tears  flowed  down  her  cheeks  and  she  seemed  to  be 
almost  heartbroken.  In  other  words,  it  appeared 
as  if  she  were  subconsciously  living  over  again  the 
period  described  in  the  script.  I  say  subconsciously 
for  she  did  not  know  what  her  hand  had  written  or 
why  she  was  anguished.  During  the  writing  of 
the  first  part  of  the  script  she  was  verbally  describ- 
ing other  memories;  during  the  latter  part  she 
ceased  speaking. 

After  awakening  from  hypnosis  and  when  she 
had  become  composed  in  her  mind  she  narrated,  at 


392  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

my  request,  the  events  referred  to  in  the  script.  She 
remembered  them  clearly  as  they  happened  when 
she  was  about  fifteen  years  of  age.  It  appeared  that 

she  was  staying  at  that  time  in  G M , 

a  town  in  England.  Her  mother,  who  was  seriously 
ill,  was  taken  to  a  great  surgeon  to  be  operated 
upon.  She  herself  suffered  great  anxiety  and 
anguish  lest  her  mother  should  not  recover.  She 
went  twice  a  day  to  the  church  to  pray  for  her 
mother's  recovery  and  in  her  anguish  declared  that 
if  her  mother  did  not  recover  she  would  no  longer 
believe  in  God.  The  chimes  in  the  tower  of  the 
church,  which  was  close  to  her  hotel,  sounded  every 
quarter  hour;  they  got  on  her  nerves;  she  hated 
them;  she  could  not  bear  to  hear  them,  and  while 
she  was  praying  they  added  to  her  anguish.  Ever 
since  this  time  the  ringing  of  bells  has  continued 
to  cause  a  feeling  of  anguish.  This  narrative  was 
not  accompanied  by  emotion  as  was  the  automatic 
script. 

It  now  transpired  that  it  was  the  ringing  of  the 
church  bells,  or  the  anticipated  ringing  of  bells,  that 
caused  the  fear,  and  not  the  perception  of  a  tower 
itself.  When  she  saw  a  tower  she  feared  lest  bells 
should  ring.  This  was  the  object  of  the  phobia.* 

*  I  want  to  emphasize  this  point,  because  certain  students,  as- 
suming the  well-known  alleged  sexual  symbolism  as  the  meaning  of 
steeples  and  towers,  will  read  and  have  read  such  an  interpretation 
into  this  phobia.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  although  these  objects  had 
been  originally  alleged  by  the  subject  herself  to  be  the  object  of  the 
fear  it  was  done  thoughtlessly  as  the  result  of  careless  introspection. 
Later  she  clearly  distinguished  the  true  object.  They  were  no  more 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  393 

She  could  not  explain  why  she  had  never  before 
connected  her  phobia  with  the  episode  she  described. 
This  failure  of  association  as  we  know  is  not  uncom- 
mon, and  in  this  case  was  apparently  related  to  a 
determination  to  put  out  of  mind  an  unbearable  epi- 
sode associated  with  so  much  anguish.  There  had 
been  for  years  a  more  or  less  constant  mental  con- 
flict with  her  phobia.  The  subject  had  striven  not 
to  think  of  or  look  at  belfries,  churches,  school- 
houses,  or  any  towers,  or  to  hear  the  ringing  of  their 
bells,  or  to  talk  about  them.  She  had  endeavored  to 
protect  herself  by  keeping  such  ideas  out  of  her 
mind.  Before  further  analyzing  the  case  there  are 
two  points  which  are  well  worth  calling  attention  to : 
1.  When  the  subject  subconsciously  described  the 
original  childhood  experience  by  automatic  script 
there  was  intense  emotion — fear — which  emerged 
into  consciousness  without  her  knowing  the  reason 
thereof.  When,  on  the  other  hand,  she  later  from 
her  conscious  memories  described  the  same  experi- 

thc  object  than  the  churches  and  schoolhouses  themselves.  They  bore 
an  incidental  association  only,  and  only  indicated  where  the  ringing 
of  bells  might  be  expected  to  be  heard,  having  been  an  element  in  the 
original  episode.  Nor  were  bells,  qua  bells,  the  object  of  the  phobia, 
but  the  ringing-of-bells  of  the  kind  that  recalled  the  mother's  death. 
In  other  words,  the  fear  was  of  bells  with  a  particular  meaning. 
Nor  was  the  fear  absolutely  limited  to  tower-bells,  for  it  transpired 
that  the  subject  had  refrained  from  having,  as  she  desired,  an  alarm 
bell  arranged  in  her  house  in  the  country  (in  case  of  fire,  etc.),  be- 
cause of  her  phobia.  (This  note  is  perhaps  made  necessary  by  the 
violent  shaking  of  the  heads  of  my  Freudian  friends  that  I  noticed 
at  this  point  during  the  presentation  of  this  case  before  the  Ameri- 
can Psychopathological  Association.)  See  Jour.  Abn.  Fsychol.,  Oct.- 
Nov.,  1913. 


394  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ence  there  was  no  such  emotion.  In  other  words 
it  was  only  when  the  conserved  residua  of  the  ex- 
perience functioned  consciously  and  autonomously 
as  a  dissociated,  independent  process  that  emotion 
was  manifested.  So  long  as  the  memories  were 
described  from  the  view-point  of  the  matured  adult 
personal  consciousness  there  was  no  emotion.  As  a 
subconscious  process  they  were  unmodified  by  this 
later  viewpoint.  This  suggests  at  least  that  when 
the  phobia  was  excited  by  the  sight  or  idea  of  a 
tower  it  was  due  likewise  to  a  subconscious  process 
and  that  this  was  one  and  the  same  as  that  which 
induced  the  experimental  phobia. 

2.  The  phraseology  of  the  script  is  noticeable. 
The  account  is  just  such  as  a  child  might  have 
written.  It  reads  as  if  the  conserved  thoughts  of 
a  child  had  awakened  and  functioned  subconsciously. 

From  this  history,  so  far  as  given,  it  is  plain  that 
the  psychosis  in  one  sense  is  a  recurring  antecedent 
experience  or  memory,  but  it  is  only  a  partial  mem- 
ory. The  whole  of  the  experience  does  not  recur 
but  only  the  emotion  in  association  with  the  ring- 
ing of  bells.  The  rest  of  that  experience,  viz.,  the 
idea  of  the  possible  death  of  her  mother  with  its 
attendant  grief  and  anguish  associated  with  the 
visits  to  the  church,  the  praying  for  recovery  and 
finally  the  realization  of  the  fatal  ending — all  that 
which  originally  excited  the  fear  and  gave  the  ring- 
ing-of-bells-in-a-tower  meaning  was  conserved  as  a 
setting  in  the  unconscious.  That  the  rest  of  the 
experience  was  conserved  was  shown  by  the  fact 


TWO   TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  395 

that  it  could  be  recalled  not  only  by  automatic 
writing  but,  although  not  in  association  with  the 
phobia,  to  conscious  memory.  From  this  point  of 
view  the  fear  of  bells  ringing  may  be  regarded  as 
a  recurrence  of  the  original  fear — that  of  her 
mother 's  death — now  derived  from  a  subconsciously 
functioning  setting.  The  child  was  afraid  to  face 
her  grief  and  so  now  the  matured  adult  was  also 
afraid. 

From  another  point  of  view  the  ringing  of  bells 
may  be  regarded  as  standing  for,  or  a  symbol  of, 
her  mother's  death  with  which  it  was  so  intimately 
associated,  and  this  symbol  awakened  the  same  fear 
as  did  originally  the  idea  itself  of  the  death.  An 
object  may  still  be  the  symbol  of  another,  although 
the  association  between  the  two  cannot  be  recalled. 
(The  transference  of  the  emotional  factor  of  an 
experience  to  some  element  in  it  is  a  common  occur- 
rence; e.  g.,  a  fear  of  knives  in  a  person  who  has 
had  the  fear  of  committing  suicide.) 

The  discovered  antecedent  experiences  of  child- 
hood then  give  a  hitherto  unsuspected  meaning  to 
the  ringing  of  bells.  It  is  a  meaning — the  mise  en 
scene  of  a  tragedy  of  grief  and  a  symbol  of  that 
tragedy.  But  was  that  tragedy  with  its  grief  the 
real  meaning  of  the  child's  fear  or,  perhaps  more 
correctly,  the  whole  of  the  meaning?  And  is  it  still 
the  meaning  in  the  mind  of  the  adult  woman !  Does 
the  mere  conservation  of  a  painful  memory  of  grief 
explain  its  persistent  recurrent  subconscious  func- 
tioning during  twenty-five  years,  well  into  adult  life, 


396  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

so  that  the  child's  emotion  shall  be  reawakened 
whenever  one  element  (bell- tower)  of  the  original 
experience  is  presented  to  consciousness?  And, 
still  more,  can  the  persistence  of  a  mere  association 
of  the  affect  with  the  object  independently  of  a  sub- 
conscious process  explain  the  psychosis?  Either 
of  these  two  last  propositions  is  absurd  on  its  face 
as  being  opposed  to  the  experience  of  the  great  mass 
of  mankind.  The  vast  majority  of  people  have 
undergone  disturbing,  sorrowful  or  fear-inspiring 
experiences  at  some  time  during  the  course  of  their 
lives  and  they  do  not  find  that  they  cannot  for  years 
afterwards  face  some  object  or  idea  belonging  to 
that  experience  without  being  overwhelmed  with  the 
same  emotion.  Such  emotion  in  the  course  of  time 
subsides  and  dies  out.  A  few,  relatively  speaking, 
do  so  suffer  and  then,  because  contrary  to  general 
experience,  it  is  called  a  psychosis. 

We  must,  then,  seek  some  other  and  adequate  fac- 
tor in  the  case  under  examination.  When  describing 
the  episode  in  the  church,  the  subject  stated  that 
on  one  occasion  she  omitted  to  go  to  church  to  pray 
and  the  thought  came  to  her  that  if  her  mother  died 
it  would  be  due  to  this  omission,  and  it  would  be  her 
fault.  The  "eye  of  God"*  she  thought  was  literally 

*  This  idea  had  its  origin  in  a  child 's  fairy  tale,  and  had  been 
fostered  by  the  governess  as  a  useful  expedient  in  enforcing  good 
behavior.  The  child  accepting  the  fairy  legend  believed  the  Eye  of 
God  was  always  on  her  and  every  one  in  the  world,  and  observed  all 
that  each  did  or  omitted  to  do.  The  legend  excited  her  imagination, 
and  she  used  to  think  about  it  and  wonder  how  God  could  keep  His 
eye  on  so  many  people  as  there  were  in  the  world.  At  a  still  earlier 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  397 

upon  her  in  her  every  daily  act  and  when  her  mother 
did  die  she  thought  that  it  was  God's  punishment 
of  herself  because  of  that  one  failure.  Consequently 
she  thought  that  she  was  to  blame  for  her  mother's 
death;  that  her  mother's  death  was  her  fault.  She 
feared  to  face  her  mother's  death,  not  because  of 
grief — that  was  a  mere  subterfuge,  a  self-deception 
— but  because  she  thought  she  was  to  blame;  and 
she  feared  to  face  towers  with  bells,  or  rather  the 
ringing  of  bells,  because  they  symbolized  or  stood 
for  that  death  (just  as  a  tomb-stone  would  stand  for 
it),  and  in  facing  that  fact  she  had  to  face  her  own 
fancied  guilt  and  self-reproach  and  this  she  dared 
not  do.  This  was  the  real  fear,  the  fear  of  facing 
her  own  guilt.  The  emotion  then  was  not  only  a 
recurrence  of  the  affect  associated  with  the  church 
episode  but  a  reaction  to  self-reproach.  The  ringing 
of  bells,  somewhat  metaphorically  speaking,  re- 
proached her  as  Banquo's  ghost  reproached  Mac- 
beth. 

All  this  was  the  child's  point  of  view. 

But  I  found  that  the  patient,  an  adult  woman, 
still  believed  and  obstinately  maintained  that  her 
mother's  death  was  her  fault.  She  had  never  ceased 
to  believe  it.  Why  was  this?  Why  had  not  the 

age,  when  she  was  about  eight,  she  had  thought  her  little  brother's 
death  was  also  her  fault,  because  she  had  neglected  one  night,  at  the 
time  of  his  illness,  God's  eye  being  upon  her,  to  say  her  prayers. 
For  a  long  time  afterward  she  suffered  similarly  from  self-reproach. 
It  is  interesting  to  compare  the  outgrowing  with  maturity  of  this 
self-reproach  with  the  persistence  of  the  later  one,  evidently  owing 
to  the  reasons  given  in  the  text. 


398  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

unsophisticated  belief  of  a  child  become  modified  by 
the  maturity  of  years  ?  It  did  not  seem  to  be  proba- 
ble that  the  given  child's  reason  was  the  real  adult 
reason  for  self-reproach.  I  did  not  believe  it.  A 
woman  forty  years  of  age  could  not  reproach  her- 
self on  such  grounds.  And,  even  if  this  belief  had 
been  originally  the  real  reason,  as  a  matter  of  fact 
she  had  outgrown  the  child's  religious  belief.  She 
was  a  thorough-going  agnostic.  Further  probing 
brought  out  the  following: 

Two  years  before  her  mother's  death,  the  patient, 
then  thirteen  years  old,  owing  to  her  own  careless- 
ness and  disobedience  to  her  mother's  instructions, 
had  contracted  a  "cold"  which  had  been  diagnosed 
as  incipient  phthisis.  By  the  physician's  advice 
her  mother  took  her  to  Europe  for  a  "cure"  and 
was  detained  there  (as  she  believed)  for  two  years, 
all  on  account  of  the  child's  health.  At  the  end  of 
this  period  a  serious,  chronic  disease  from  which 
the  mother  had  long  suffered  was  found  to  have  so 
developed  as  to  require  an  emergency  operation. 
The  patient  still  believed  and  argued  that  if  her 
mother  had  not  been  compelled  to  take  her  abroad 
she  (the  mother)  would  have  been  under  medical 
supervision  at  home,  would  have  been  operated  upon 
long  before  and  in  all  probability  would  not  have 
died.  Furthermore,  as  the  patient  had  heedlessly 
and  disobediently  exposed  herself  to  severe  cold  and 
thereby  contracted  the  disease  compelling  the  so- 
journ in  Europe,  she  was  to  blame  foi  *he  train  of 
circumstances  ending  fatally. 


TWO   TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  399 

All  this  was  perfectly  logical  and  true,  assuming 
the  facts  as  presented.  Here  then  was  the  real  rea- 
son for  the  patient's  persistent  belief  that  her 
mother 's  death  was  her  fault  and  the  persistent  self- 
reproach.  It  also  transpired  that  all  this  had 
weighed  upon  the  child's  mind  and  that  the  child 
had  likewise  believed  it.  So  the  child  had  two  rea- 
sons for  self-reproach.  One  was  neglecting  to  pray 
and  the  other  was  being  the  indirect  cause  of  the 
fatal  operation.  Both  were  intensely  believed  in. 
The  first  based  on  the  "eye  of  God"  theory  she  had 
outgrown,  but  the  other  had  persisted. 

Summing  up  our  study  to  this  point:  All  these 
memories  involving  grief,  suffering,  self-reproach, 
bells  and  mother  formed  an  unconscious  setting 
which  gave  meaning  to  bells  in  towers  and  took  part 
in  the  functioning  to  form  a  psychic  whole.  The  con- 
scious psychosis  was  first  the  emergence  into  con- 
sciousness of  two  elements  only,  the  perception  and 
the  affect,  and  the  fear  was  a  reaction  to  self-re- 
proach, a  fear  to  face  self -blame. 

Now  even  if  the  mother's  death  were  logically, 
by  a  train  of  fortuitous  circumstances,  the  patient's 
fault,  why  did  an  otherwise  intelligent  woman  lay 
so  much  stress  upon  an  irresponsible  child's  be- 
havior? The  child  after  all  behaved  no  differently 
from  other  children.  People  do  not  consciously 
blame  themselves  in  after  life  for  the  ultimate  con- 
sequences of  childhood's  heedlessness.  According 
to  common  experience  such  self-reproaches  do  not 


400  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

last  into  adult  life  without  some  continuously  acting 
factor. 

A  search  in  this  case  into  the  unconscious  brought 
to  light  a  persisting  idea  that  when  events  in  her 
life  happened  unfortunately  it  was  due  to  her  fault. 
It  had  cropped  out  again  and  again  in  connection 
with  inconsequential  as  well  as  consequential  mat- 
ters. She  had,  for  instance,  been  really  unable  on 
many  occasions  to  leave  home  on  pleasure  trips  for 
fear  lest  some  accident  might  happen  within  the 
home  and  consequently  it  would  be  due  to  her  fault ; 
and  if  away  she  was  in  constant  dread  of  something 
happening  for  which  she  would  be  to  blame.  It 
was  not  a  fear  of  what  might  happen — an  accident 
to  the  children,  for  example — but  that  it  would  be 
her  fault.  I  have  heard  her,  when  some  matter  of 
apparently  little  concern  had  gone  wrong,  suddenly 
exclaim,  "Was  it  my  fault?"  her  voice  and  features 
manifesting  a  degree  of  emotion  almost  amounting 
to  terror.  When  her  brother  died  (still  earlier,  be- 
fore her  mother's  death)  she  had  blamed  herself  for 
that  death,  as  later  with  her  mother,  on  the  same  re- 
ligious grounds.  This  self-reproach  for  happenings, 
fancied  as  due  to  her  fault,  has  frequently  appeared 
in  her  dreams.  It  would  take  us  too  far  afield  to 
trace  the  origin  and  psychogenesis  of  this  idea.  Suf- 
fice to  say,  it  can  be  followed  back  to  early  child- 
hood when  she  was  five  or  six  years  of  age.  She 
was  a  lonely,  unhappy  child.  She  thought  herself 
ugly  and  unattractive  and  disliked  and  that  so  it  al- 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  401 

ways  would  be  through  life,  and  it  was  all  her  fault 
because  she  was  ugly,  as  she  thought*    The  instinct 

*  Another  example  of  this  idea  and  of  the  way  it  induced  a 
psychosis  is  the  following:  She  had  an  intense  dislike  to  hearing  the 
sound  of  running  water.  This  sound  induced  an  intense  feeling  of 
unhappiness  and  loneliness.  This  feeling  was  so  intense  that  whenever 
she  heard  the  sound  of  running  water  she  endeavored  to  get  away 
from  it.  The  sound  of  a  fountain  or  rainwater  running  from  a  roof, 
for  example,  would  cause  such  unpleasant  feelings  that  she  would 
change  her  sleeping  room  to  avoid  them.  Likewise  drawing  water  to 
fill  the  bathtub  was  so  unpleasant  that  she  would  insist  upon  the 
door  being  closed  to  exclude  the  sound.  She  could  give  no  explana- 
tion of  this  psychosis.  It  was  discovered  in  the  following  way:  She 
had  been  desirous  of  finding  out  the  cause,  and  we  had  discussed  the 
subject.  I  had  promised  that  I  would  unravel  the  matter  in  due  time, 
after  the  other  phobia  had  been  cured.  I  then  hypnotized  her  and, 
while  she  was  in  hypnosis  and  just  after  we  had  completed  the  other 
problem,  she  remarked  that  a  memory  of  the  running  water  associa- 
tion was  on  the  verge  of  emerging  into  her  mind.  She  could  not 
get  it  for  some  time,  and  then,  after  some  effort,  it  suddenly  emerged. 
She  described  it  as  follows:  "It  was  at  Bar  Harbor.  She  was  about 
eight  years  of  age.  There  was  a  brook  there  called  Duck  Brook. 
The  older  girls  used  to  go  up  there  on  Sundays  for  a  walk  with  the 
boys.  I  went  with  them  one  Sunday,  accompanied  by  the  governess, 
and  was  standing  by  the  brook  with  a  boy.  It  was  a  very  noisy 
brook,  the  water  running  down  from  the  hillside.  While  I  was  stand- 
ing by  the  brook,  watching  the  running  water,  the  boy  left  me  to 
join  the  other  girls,  who  had  gone  off.  I  thought  that  was  the  way 
it  would  always  be  in  life;  that  I  was  ugly,  and  that  they  would 
never  stay  with  me.  I  felt  lonely  and  unhappy.  During  that  sum- 
mer I  would  not  join  parties  of  the  same  kind,  fearing  or  feeling 
that  the  same  thing  would  happen.  I  stayed  at  home  by  myself,  and 
when  I  refused  to  go  it  was  attributed  to  sullenness.  They  did  not 
know  my  real  reasons.  Ever  since  I  have  been  unable  to  bear  the 
sound  of  running  water,  whicn  produces  the  feeling  of  unhappiness 
and  loneliness,  the  same  feeling  that  I  had  at  that  time.  I  thought 
then  that  it  was  all  my  fault,  because  I  was  ugly."  It  was  then 
tentatively  pointed  out  at  some  length  to  the  subject  that  as  she 
now  knew  all  the  facts  which  had  been  brought  to  the  "full  light 


402  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

of  self-abasement  (McDougall*)  or  negative  self- 
feeling  (Eibot)  dominated  the  personality  as  the 
most  insistent  instinct  and  from  its  intensity  within 
the  self -regarding  sentiment  (McDougall)  formed  a 
sentiment  of  self-depreciation.  She  wanted  to  be 
liked  and  believed  it  to  be  her  own  fault  that,  as 
she  fancied,  she  was  not  and  never  would  be,  and 
reproached  herself  accordingly.  This  sentiment  of 
self  depreciation  with  its  impulse  to  render  self-re- 
proach has  persisted,  as  with  many  people,  all  her 
life  and  has  been  fostered  by  unwise  and  thoughtless 
domestic  criticism.  The  persistence  to  the  present 
day  of  this  impulse  to  self-reproach  is  shown  in  the 
following  observation: 

Quite  recently  this  subject  began  to  suffer  from 
general  fatigue,  insomnia,  distressing  dreams,  hys- 
terical crying,  indefinable  anxiety  and  pseudo  twi- 
light states  or  extreme  states  of  abstraction.  In 
these  states  she  became  oblivious  of  her  environ- 
ment, did  not  hear  the  conversation  going  on  about 
her,  nor  answer  when  directly  spoken  to.  This  be- 

of  day,"  etc.,  she,  of  course,  would  no  longer  have  her  former  un- 
pleasant emotions  from  the  sound  of  running  water.  Hereupon,  to 
put  the  question  to  the  test,  I  reached  out  my  hand  and  poured 
some  water  from  a  caraffe,  by  chance  standing  by,  into  a  tumbler, 
letting  the  water  fall  from  a  height  to  make  a  sound.  At  once  she 
manifested  discomfort,  and  sought  to  restrain  me  with  her  hand. 
Plainly  the  setting  had  to  be  changed.  This  was  easily  done  by 
leading  her  to  see  that  her  childhood's  ideas  had  been  proven  by 
life 's  experiences  to  be  false.  When  this  became  apparent  she 
laughed  at  herself,  and  the  psychosis  ceased  at  once. 
*  Social  Psychology. 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  403 

came  so  noticeable  that  she  became  the  jest  of  her 
companions.  In  these  states  her  mind  was  always 
occupied  with  reveries  (not  fantasies),  though 
mostly  pleasant,  regarding  a  very  near  relative  who 
had  died  about  six  months  previously.  Her  dis- 
tressing dreams  also  concerned  this  relative.  It  ap- 
peared, therefore,  probable,  on  the  face  of  the  symp- 
toms that  they  were  in  some  way  related  to  this 
relative's  death. 

Now  it  transpired,  as  I  already  knew,  that  the  rel- 
ative had  died  under  somewhat  tragic  circumstances 
and  that  our  subject's  experience  during  the  last 
illness  was  unusually  distressing  and  sorrowful. 
This  experience,  she  asserted,  she  could  not  bear  to 
speak  or  even  think  about  and  over  and  over  again 
had  refused  to  do  so  and  put  it  out  of  her  mind.  She 
further  asserted  that  her  reason  for  this  attitude 
was  the  distressing  nature  of  the  scenes  in  which 
she  took  part. 

Now  I  did  not  believe  that  this  was  the  true  rea- 
son, although  given  in  good  faith.  It  was  improba- 
ble on  its  face.  To  say  that  a  grown  woman,  forty 
years  of  age,  could  not  do  what  every  woman  can 
do,  tolerate  sorrowful  memories  simply  because  they 
were  sorrowful,  and  must  perforce  put  them  out  of 
her  mind,  is  sheer  nonsense.  There  must  be  some 
other  reason. 

On  examining  a  dream  it  was  found  to  be  peculiar 
in  one  respect:  It  was  not  an  imaginative  or  fan- 
tastic composition,  but  a  detailed  and  precise  living 
over  again  of  the  scenes  at  the  death  bed:  that  is 


404  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

to  say,  it  was  a  sort  of  somnambulistic  state.  In  re- 
calling this  dream*  she  could  not  for  some  time  re- 
cover the  ending.  Finally  it  "broke  through,"  as 
she  expressed  it.  The  dream  was  as  follows :  First 
came  many  details  of  the  vigil  of  the  last  night  of 
the  illness;  then  she  went  to  her  room  and  to  bed 
to  snatch  a  few  moments '  sleep ;  she  was  waked  up 
by  the  husband  of  the  dying  relative  appearing  in 
her  room.  He  sat  on  the  edge  of  her  bed  and  said 
to  her,  "All  is  over."  Up  to  this  point  the  facts 
of  the  dream  were  actual  representations  in  great 
detail  of  the  actual  facts  as  they  had  occurred,  but 
at  this  moment  the  dream  presented  a  fact  which 
had  not  occurred  in  the  real  scene ;  she  suddenly,  in 
the  dream,  sat  up  in  bed  and  exclaimed,  '  *  My  God ! 
then  I  ought  to  have  sent  for  the  doctor!" 

Here  was  the  key  to  the  intolerance  for  memories 
of  the  illness  of  the  relative  and  the  death-bed  scene. 
What  had  happened  was  this:  The  question  had 
arisen  early  in  the  illness  whether  or  not  a  doctor 
should  be  sent  for  from  London  in  consultation. 
The  expense,  owing  to  the  distance,  would  have  been 
considerable.  The  whole  responsibility  and  decision 
rested  upon  the  subject.  Against  the  opinion  of 
other  relatives  she  had  decided  that  it  was  inadvisa- 
ble. After  the  fatal  ending  the  question  had  arisen 
again  whether  or  not  she  ought  to  have  sent  for  the 
consultant  and  she  had  been  tormented  by  the  doubt 
as  to  whether  she  did  right ;  was  the  fatal  result  her 

*  This  was  done  in  hypnosis,  the  dream  being  forgotten  when 
awake. 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  405 

fault?  Although  she  had  reasoned  with  herself  that 
her  decision  was  good  judgment  and  right  still  there 
had  always  lurked  a  doubt  in  her  mind.  She  was 
also  somewhat  disturbed  by  the  thought  of  what  the 
husband's  opinion  might  be. 

The  real  reason  why  she  could  not  tolerate  the 
memories  of  the  last  illness  of  this  relative,  and  the 
psychogenesis  of  the  symptoms  now  were  plain: 
they  were  not  grief  but  self-reproach  with  its  in- 
stinct of  self-abasement.  The  memories  brought  to 
her  mind  that  the  fault  was  her's  and  with  the 
thought  came  self-reproach.  This  self-reproach  she 
was  afraid  of  and  unwilling  to  face.  This  fact  she 
recognized  and  frankly  confessed  after  the  dis- 
closures of  the  analysis. 

Now  follows  the  therapeutic  sequel.  The  rela- 
tive's illness  at  the  beginning  was  in  no  way  of  a 
dangerous  nature  and  the  proposed  consultation  had 
nothing  to  do  with  the  question  of  danger  to  life. 
The  death  was  due  to  purely  an  accidental  factor 
and  could  not  have  been  foreseen.  When  I  assured 
her  in  hypnosis,  with  full  explanation,  that  her  de- 
cision had  been  medically  sound,  as  it  was,  the 
change  in  her  mental  attitude  was  delightful  to  look 
upon.  ' '  Wasn  't  it  my  fault !  Wasn  't  it  my  fault ! ' ' 
she  exclaimed  in  excitement.  Anxiety,  dread,  and 
depression  gave  way  to  exhilaration  and  joyousness. 
Thereupon  she  woke  up  completely  relieved  in  mind, 
and  retained  the  same  feeling  of  joy,  but  without 
knowing  the  reason  thereof.  The  explanation  was 
repeated  to  her  in  the  waking  state  and  she  then 


406  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

fully  realized  (as  she  did  also  in  hypnosis)  that 
her  previous  view  was  a  pure  subterfuge  and  fully 
appreciated  the  truth  of  the  discovered  reason  for 
her  inability  to  face  her  painful  memories.  The 
twilight  states,  the  insomnia,  and  the  distressing 
dreams,  the  anxiety,  and  other  symptoms  ceased  at 
once. 

Returning  to  the  phobia  for  bells,  in  the  light  of 
all  these  facts,  the  patient's  belief  that  her  mother's 
death  was  her  fault  and  the  consequent  self-re- 
proach were  obviously  only  a  particular  concrete  ex- 
ample of  a  lifelong  emotional  tendency  originating 
in  the  experiences  of  childhood  to  blame  herself; 
and  this  tendency  was  the  striving  to  express  itself 
of  the  instinct  of  self-abasement  (with  the  emotion 
of  self -subjection)  which,  incorporated  within  ''the 
self -regarding  sentiment"  (McDougall),  was  so  in- 
tensely cultivated  and  had  played  so  large  a  part 
in  her  life.  Indeed  this  instinct  had  almost  domi- 
nated her  self-regarding  sentiment  and  had  given 
rise  time  and  again  to  self-reproach  for  acci- 
dental happenings.  It  now  specifically  determined 
her  attitude  of  mind  toward  the  series  of  events 
which  led  up  to  the  fatal  climax  and  determined  her 
judgment  of  self-condemnation  and  self-reproach. 
These  last  most  probably  received  increased  emo- 
tional force  from  the  large  number  of  roots  in  pain- 
ful associations  of  antecedent  experiences  (particu- 
larly of  childhood)  in  which  the  self -regarding 
sentiment,  self-debasement,  and  self-reproaches 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  407 

were  incorporated.*  Nevertheless  the  fear  was  of 
a  particular  concrete  self-reproach.  The  general 
tendency  was  of  practical  consequence  only  so  far 
as  it  explained  the  particular  point  of  view  and 
might  induce  other  self-reproaches. 

As  a  general  summary  of  this  study  it  would  ap- 
pear that  we  can  postulate  a  larger  setting  to  the 
phobia  than  the  grief  inspiring  experiences  attend- 
ing her  mother's  death.  The  unconscious  complex 
included  the  belief  that  she  was  to  blame  and  the 
sentiment  of  self-reproach,  and  the  whole  gave  a 
fuller  meaning  to  the  ringing  of  bells  in  a  tower. 
The  fear  besides  being  a  recurring  association  was 
also  a  reaction  to  the  subconsciously  excited  setting 
of  a  fancied  truth  or  self-accusation.  Although  ex- 
cited by  towers  and  steeples  the  fear  was  really  of 
self-reproach.  Towers,  steeples,  and  bells  not  only 
in  a  sense  symbolized  her  mother's  death,  but  her 
own  fancied  fault.  It  was  in  this  sense  and  for  this 
reason  that  she  dared  not  face  such  objects.  The 

*  For  instance,  when  I  came  to  the  therapeutics  I  found  in  ab- 
straction that  the  patient  did  not  want  to  give  up  her  point  of  view 
"because,"  as  she  said,  "it  forms  an  excuse  so  that  when  I  feel 
lonely,  if  there  is  nothing  else  to  be  lonely  about,  I  have  that  memory 
and  point  of  view  to  fall  back  upon  as  something  to  justify  my 
crying  and  feeling  lonely  and  blue. ' ' 

When  she  now  feels  blue  and  cries,  as  happens  occasionally,  and 
she  asks  herself  Why?  then  she  drifts  back  in  her  mind  to  childhood 
and  remembers  she  was  lonely  and  then  cries  the  harder.  Then  she 
vaguely  thinks  of  her  mother's  death  being  her  fault.  She  likes 
therefore  to  hold  on  to  this  as  a  peg  on  which  to  hang  any  present 
feeling  of  blueness  and  loneliness. 


408  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

conscious  and  the  unconscious  formed  a  psychic 
whole.* 

Now  in  reaching  these  conclusions  see  how  far 
we  have  traveled :  Starting  with  an  ostensible  pho- 
bia for  towers,  we  find  it  is  more  correctly  one  of 
ringing-of -bells,  but  without  conscious  association; 
then  we  reach  a  childhood's  tragedy;  then  a  self- 
reproach  on  religious  grounds;  then  a  belief  in  a 
fault  of  childhood's  behavior  culminating  in  a  life- 
long self-reproach — the  causal  factor  and  psycho- 
logically the  true  object  of  the  phobia :  and  between 
this  last  self-reproach  and  the  phobia  no  conscious 
association. 

The  therapeutic  procedure  and  results  are  instruc- 
tive. As  the  fear  was  induced  by  a  belief  in  a  fan- 
cied fault  exciting  a  self-reproach,  obviously  if 
this  belief  should  be  destroyed  the  self-reproach 
must  cease  and  the  fear  must  disappear.  Now  when 
all  the  facts  were  brought  to  light,  the  patient,  as 
is  usual,  recognized  the  truth  of  them.  She  also 

*  Some,  I  have  no  doubt,  will  insist  upon  seeing  in  towers  with 
bells  a  sexual  symbol,  and  in  the  self-reproach  a  reaction  to  a  re- 
pressed infantile  or  other  sexual  wish.  But  I  cannot  accede  to  this 
view  first,  because  a  tower  was  not  only  not  the  real  object  of  the 
phobia,  but  not  even  the  alleged  object,  which  was  the  ringing  of 
bells;  secondly,  because  it  is  an  unnecessary  postulate  unsupported 
by  evidence,  and,  thirdly,  because  in  fact,  the  associative  memories  of 
early  life  were  conspicuously  free  from  sex  knowledge,  wishes,  curi- 
osity, episodes  and  imaginings,  nor  was  there  any  evidence  of  the  so- 
called  ' '  mother  complex  "  or  "  father-complex, ' '  or  any  other  sexual 
complex  that  I  could  find  after  a  most  exhaustive  probing.  The 
impulses  of  instincts  other  than  sexual  are  sufficient  to  induce 
psychical  trauma,  insistent  ideas,  and  emotion.  To  hold  otherwise 
is  to  substitute  dogma  for  the  evidence  of  experience. 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  409 

recognized  fully  and  completely  the  real  nature  of 
the  fear,  of  the  self-blame  and  of  the  self-reproach. 
There  remained  no  lingering  doubt  in  her  mind, 
nevertheless  the  bringing  to  "the  full  light  of  day" 
of  all  this  did  not  cure  the  phobia.  As  the  first  pro- 
cedure in  the  therapeusis  it  was  pointed  out  that  it 
was  contrary  to  common  sense  to  blame  herself  for 
the  heedlessness  of  a  child;  that  all  children  were 
disobedient;  that  she  would  have  been  a  little  prig 
if  she  had  been  the  sort  of  a  child  that  never  dis- 
obeyed, and  that  she  would  not  have  blamed  any 
other  child  who  had  behaved  in  a  similar  way  under 
similar  circumstances,  and  so  on.  She  simply  said 
that  she  recognized  all  this  intellectually  as  true  and 
yet,  although  it  was  the  point  of  view  which  she 
would  take  with  another  person  in  the  same  situa- 
tion, it  did  not  in  any  way  alter  her  attitude  toward 
herself.  In  other  words  the  bringing  to  the  full 
light  of  day  of  the  facts  did  not  cure  the  phobia. 
It  was  necessary  to  change  the  setting  of  her  belief. 
To  do  this  either  the  alleged  facts  had  to  be  shown 
to  be  not  true  or  else  new  facts  had  to  be  introduced 
which  would  give  them  a  new  meaning.  This,  briefly 
told,  was  done  in  the  following  way: 

She  was  put  into  light  hypnosis  in  order  that  ex- 
act and  detailed  memories  of  her  childhood  might 
be  brought  out.  Then,  through  her  own  memories, 
it  was  demonstrated,  that  is  to  say,  the  patient  her- 
self demonstrated,  that  there  was  considerable 
doubt  about  her  having  had  phthisis  at  all ;  that  she 
was  not  taken  to  the  usual  places  of  "cures"  for 


410  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

phthisis  but  sojourned  in  the  gay  and  pleasant  cities 
and  watering  places  of  Europe;  that  her  mother 
really  staid  in  Europe  because  she  enjoyed  it  and 
made  an  excuse  of  her  daughter's  health  not  to 
come  home;  that  she  might  have  returned  at  any 
time  but  did  not  want  to  do  so ;  and  that  the  fault 
lay,  if  anywhere,  with  her  physician  at  home.  When 
this  was  brought  out  the  patient  remarked,  "Why, 
of  course,  I  see  it  now!  My  mother  did  not  stay 
in  Europe  on  account  of  my  health  but  because  she 
enjoyed  it,  and  might  have  returned  if  she  had 
wanted  to.  I  never  thought  of  that  before !  It  was 
not  my  fault  at  all ! "  After  coming  out  of  hypnosis 
the  facts  as  elicited  were  laid  before  the  patient ;  she 
again  said  that  she  saw  it  all  clearly,  as  she  had 
done  in  hypnosis,  and  her  whole  point  of  view  was 
changed. 

The  therapeutics,  then,  consisted  in  showing  that 
the  alleged  facts  upon  which  the  patient's  logical 
conclusions  had  been  based  were  false.  The  set- 
ting thereby  was  altered,  and  a  new  and  true  mean- 
ing given  to  the  real  facts.  The  result  was  towers 
and  steeples  no  longer  excited  fears,  the  phobia 
ceased  at  once — an  immediate  cure.* 

Type  D.  In  this  type  the  conscious  psychosis  con- 
sists of  idea,  meaning,  affect,  and  physical  disturb- 

*  It  is  worth  noting  that  between  the  bringing  to  the  ' '  full  light 
of  day"  the  facts  furnished  by  the  analysis  and  the  cure  a  full  year 
and  a  half  elapsed,  during  which  the  phobia  continued.  The  "cure" 
was  effected  at  one  sitting.  The  original  study  was  undertaken  on 
purely  psychological  grounds;  the  cure  for  the  purpose  of  completing 
the  study. 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  411 

ance.  F.  E.  suffered  from  attacks  of  so-called  "un- 
reality" accompanied  with  intense  fear.  She  was 
unable  to  give  an  intelligent  explanation  as  to  why 
she  was  afraid  of  the  attacks — harmless  in  them- 
selves— until  it  was  brought  out  that  there  was  in 
the  background  of  her  mind  the  thought  that  the 
attacks  spelled  insanity  (or  that  she  was  likely  to 
go  insane)  and  also  death.  Following  the  attacks 
there  was  amnesia  for  these  thoughts.  Her  fear 
really,  then,  was  of  insanity  and  death.  The  con- 
tent of  consciousness  in  the  attacks  contained  the 
perception  of  herself  as  an  insane  person,  thoughts 
which  expressed  the  meaning  of  her  attacks,  and 
fear.  (The  usual  physical  disturbances  of  course 
accompanied  the  fear.)  No  amount  of  explanation 
of  the  harmlessness  of  the  unreality  syndrome  suf- 
ficed to  change  her  point  of  view,  i.  e.,  its  meaning 
to  her.  But  going  further  it  was  discovered  that 
her  self-regarding  sentiment  and  her  ideas  of  in- 
sanity and  death  were  organized  with  a  large  num- 
ber of  fear-inspiring  antecedent  experiences  which 
explained  why  she  regarded  the  attacks  as  danger- 
ous to  her  mentality  and  life ;  and  why  the  biological 
instinct  of  fear  was  incorporated  with  the  self-re- 
garding sentiment.  These  experiences  had  long 
passed  out  of  mind  and  there  was  no  conscious  asso- 
ciation between  them  and  her  phobia,  but  they  could 
be  recalled  as  associative  memories.*  The  unreality 

*  This  account  will  be  clearer  if  read  in  connection  with  the  full 
analysis  ("A  Clinical  Study  of  a  Case  of  Phobia ")>  published  in 
the  Jour,  of  Abn.  Psychol.,  October-November,  1912. 


412  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

attacks  had  for  her  two  meanings  which  were  within 
the  content  of  consciousness,  viz.,  1,  insanity,  and  2, 
death.  The  first  was  derived  from  (a)  antecedent 
girlhood  and  later  experiences  which  had  engen- 
dered the  unsophisticated  belief  that  having  the 
mind  fixed  on  one  subject,  as  was  obtrusively  and 
painfully  the  case  at  one  time,  meant  insanity :  and 
(b),  from  the  fact  that  the  bewildering,  irreconcila- 
ble, absurd  thoughts,  conflicts,  and  emotions  in 
which  the  unreality  attacks  culminated  meant 
insanity. 

The  second  meaning  (death)  was  derived  from 
(a)  the  previous  fixed  idea  (just  referred  to),  or- 
ganized with  that  of  insanity — namely,  an  unsophis- 
ticated medieval  idea  of  hell  which  was  conceived 
of  as  the  equivalent  of  death  and  which  had  excited 
an  intense  horror  of  both;  and  (b)  from  the  fact 
that  in  the  unreality  attacks  there  was  a  struggling 
for  air;  struggling  was  in  her  mind,  the  equivalent 
of  convulsions;*  convulsions  of  unconsciousness; 
and  unconsciousness  of  death.  All  these  various 
ideas  and  the  intense  fears  which  each  gave  rise  to 
had  become  organized  into  a  complex,  and,  in  conse- 
quence of  these  antecedent  experiences  in  which  self 
took  a  prominent  part,  the  instinct  of  fear — as  I 
conceive  the  matter — became  incorporated  within 
the  self-regarding  sentiment.  (Anything  that 
aroused  this  sentiment  tended  to  arouse  the  emotion 
of  fear,  as  in  another  person  it  would  tend  to  arouse 

*  She  was  apprehensive  of  having  inherited  Brigtir  "S  disease  from 
her  father,  who  had  convulsions. 


TWO    TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  413 

the  emotion  of  pride,  or  self-abasement.)  At  any 
rate  this  organized  complex  was  the  setting  which 
gave  the  meaning  to  her  phobia.  There  can  be,  I 
think,  no  manner  of  doubt  about  this.  The  patient 
herself  explained  her  viewpoint  through  these  ideas 
here  briefly  summarized.  The  only  question  is  as 
to  the  mechanism  of  the  phobia.  Now  as  Type  D, 
of  which  these  cases  are  examples,  differs  clinically 
from  the  preceding  three  types  only  in  the  addition 
of  one  more  element — meaning — to  the  conscious 
psychic  whole,  a  consistent  interpretation  would 
seem  to  compel  us  to  postulate  also  a  functioning 
subconscious  complex  or  setting  and  in  this  case  of 
the  antecedent  experiences  disclosed  as  a  factor  in 
the  mechanism  and  a  part  of  the  psychic  whole.  Out 
of  this  complex  emerged  into  consciousness  the  idea 
of  insanity  and  death  and  fear  as  the  meaning  of 
the  unreality  syndrome,  the  whole  constituting  the 
phobia  psychosis. 

That  there  was  in  fact  a  subconsciously  function- 
ing process  derived  from  this  complex  would  seem 
to  be  almost  conclusively  shown  by  another  phe- 
nomenon manifested.  I  refer  to  the  vivid  visualiza- 
tion of  herself  in  a  convulsion,  struggling  for  air 
and  manifesting  fright,  which  she  experienced  in 
each  attack.  We  have  seen  that  such  a  visualization 
(i.  e.,  a  modified  vision)  is  the  expression  (sec- 
ondary images?)  of  a  subconscious  process  (co- 
conscious  ideas?).  As  a  matter  of  fact  this  particu- 
lar visualization  was  a  pictorial  representation  of 
antecedent  thoughts  organized  with  thoughts  of 


414  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

death  and  insanity  and  still  conserved  in  the  un- 
conscious. We  must  believe,  then,  that  it  was  these 
antecedent  thoughts  (in  the  first  place  her  appre- 
hension of  inheriting  Bright 's  disease  and  convul- 
sions from  her  father,  and  in  the  second  place  her 
conception  of  the  unreality  syndrome  as  a  state 
which  might  possibly  end  in  convulsions)  which, 
functioning  subconsciously,  induced  the  quasi  hal- 
lucinatory expression  of  themselves.*  It  is  difficult 
to  get  away  from  the  conclusion  that  the  remainder 
of  the  setting  from  which  the  ideas  of  insanity  and 
death  were  derived  also  functioned  as  a  subcon- 
scious process.  Whether  this  process  was  cocon- 
scious  or  unconscious  is  a  secondary  question  which 
we  need  not  consider. 

In  weighing  the  probabilities  of  this  interpreta- 
tion we  should  bear  in  mind  that  there  were  two 
conscious  beliefs  of  which  the  patient  was  fully 
aware  and  which  were  very  real  to  her ;  namely,  the 
liability  of  becoming  insane  and  to  convulsions  and 
death.  The  conative  force  of  the  instinct  of  fear 
linked  to  such  ideas  is  quite  sufficient  to  drive  them 
to  expression  when  out  of  mind  and  subconscious. 
Or  expressed  differently  we  may  say  that  the  fear 
was  a  reaction  to  these  ideas  which  the  patient  dared 
not  face. 

We  ought  not,  however,  to  be  too  sweeping  in  our 
generalizations  and  go  further  than  the  facts  war- 

*  It  is  quite  possible  that  this  subconscious  process  induced  the 
unreality  syndrome  in  which  struggling  for  air  was  the  salient 
symptom. 


TWO   TYPES   OF   PHOBIA  415 

rant.  "We  are  not  justified  in  concluding  that  the 
linking  of  an  affect  to  an  idea  always  includes  a 
subconscious  mechanism.  On  the  contrary,  as  I  have 
previously  said,  probably  in  the  great  majority  of 
such  experiences,  aside  from  obsessions,  no  such 
mechanism  is  required  to  explain  the  facts. 

The  Inability  to  Voluntarily  Modify  Obsessions. 
— We  are  now  in  a  position  on  this  theory  to  look 
a  little  more  deeply  into  the  structure  and  mechan- 
ism of  an  obsession  and  thereby  realize  why  it  is 
that  the  unfortunate  victims  are  so  helpless  to  mod- 
ify or  control  them.  Indeed  this  behavior  of  the 
setting  could  be  cited  as  another  piece  of  circum- 
stantial evidence  for  the  theory  that  the  setting  is 
largely  unconscious  and  that  only  a  few  elements  of 
it  enter  the  field  of  consciousness.  If  we  simply  ex- 
plain to  a  person  who  has  a  true  obsession,  i.  e.,  an 
insistent  idea  with  a  strong  feeling  tone,  the  falsity 
of  the  point  of  view,  the  explanation  in  many  cases 
at  least  has  no  or  little  effect  in  changing  the  view- 
point, though  the  patient  admits  the  correctness  of 
the  explanation.  The  patient  cannot  modify  his  idea 
even  if  he  will.  But  if  the  original  complex,  which 
is  hidden  in  the  unconscious  and  which  gives  rise 
to  the  meaning  of  the  idea,  is  discovered,  and  so 
altered  that  it  takes  on  a  new  meaning  and  differ- 
ent feeling  tones,  the  patient's  conscious  idea  be- 
comes modified  and  ceases  to  be  insistent.  This 
would  imply  that  the  insistent  idea  is  only  an  ele- 
ment in  a  larger  unconscious  complex  which  is  the 


416  THE    UNCONSCIOUS 

setting  and  unconsciously  determines  the  viewpoint. 
The  reason  why  the  patient  cannot  voluntarily  alter 
his  viewpoint  becomes  intelligible  by  this  theory,  be- 
cause that  which  determines  it  is  unconscious  and 
unknown.  He  may  not  even  know  what  his  point 
of  view  is,  owing  to  the  meaning  being  in  the  fringe 
of  consciousness. 

If  this  theory  of  the  mechanism  is  soundly  es- 
tablished the  difficulty  of  correcting  obsessions  be- 
comes obvious  and  intelligible.  It  is  also  obvious 
that  there  are  theoretically  two  ways  in  which  an 
obsession  might  be  corrected. 

1.  A  new  setting  with  strong  affects  may  be  arti- 
ficially created  so  that  the  perception  acquires  an- 
other equally  strong  meaning  and  interest. 

2.  The  second  way  theoretically  would  be  to  bring 
into  consciousness  the  setting  and  the  past  experi- 
ences of  which  the  setting  is  a  sifted  residuum,  and 
reform  it  by  introducing  new  elements,  including 
new  emotions  and  feelings.    In  this  way  the  old  set- 
ting and  point  of  view  would  become  transformed 
and  a  new  point  of  view  substituted  which  would 
give  a  new  meaning  to  the  perception. 

Now  in  practice  both  these  theoretical  methods  of 
destroying  an  obsession  are  found  to  work,  although 
both  are  not  always  equally  efficacious  in  the  same 
case.  In  less  intense  obsessions  where  the  complex 
composing  the  setting  is  only  partially  and  incon- 
sequently  submerged,  and  to  a  slight  degree  differ- 
entiated from  the  mass  of  conscious  experiences, 
the  first  and  simpler  method  practically  is  amply 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  417 

sufficient.  We  might  say  that  the  greater  the  de- 
gree to  which  the  setting  is  conscious  and  the  less 
the  degree  to  which  it  has  acquired,  as  an  uncon- 
scious process,  independent  autonomous  activity  the 
more  readily  it  may  be  transformed  by  this  method. 

On  the  other  hand  in  the  more  intense  obsessions, 
where  a  greater  part  of  the  setting  is  unconscious, 
has  wide  K  unifications  and  has  become  differenti- 
ated as  an  independent  autonomous  process,  the 
more  difficult  it  is  to  suppress  it  and  prevent  its 
springing  into  activity  whenever  excited  by  some 
stimulus  (such  as  an  associated  idea).  In  such  in- 
stances the  second  method  is  more  efficacious.  It 
is  obvious  that,  so  long  as  the  setting  to  a  central 
idea  remains  organized  and  conserved  in  the  uncon- 
scious, the  corresponding  perception  and  meaning 
are  always  liable  under  favoring  conditions  (such  as 
fatigue,  ill  health,  etc.)  to  be  switched  into  conscious- 
ness and  replace  the  new  formed  perception.  This 
means  of  course  a  recurrence.  Nevertheless  medi- 
cal experience  from  the  beginning  of  time  has  shown 
that  this  is  not  necessarily  or  always  the  case.  The 
technique,  therefore,  of  the  treatment  of  obsessions 
will  vary  from  "simple  explanations"  (Taylor) 
without  preliminary  analysis  to  the  more  compli- 
cated and  varying  procedures  of  analysis  and  re- 
education in  its  many  forms. 

Affects. — Here  a  word  of  caution  in  the  interpre- 
tation of  emotional  reactions  is  necessary.  In  the 
building  of  complexes,  as  we  have  seen,  an  affect 
becomes  linked  to  an  idea  through  an  emotional  ex- 


418  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

perience.  The  recurrence  of  that  idea  always  in- 
volves the  recurrence  of  the  affect.  It  is  not  a  logi- 
cal necessity  that  the  original  experience  which  occa- 
sioned the  affect  should  always  be  postulated  as  a 
continuing  subconscious  process  to  account  for  the 
affect  in  association  with  the  idea.  It  is  quite  pos- 
sible, if  not  extremely  probable,  that  in  the  simpler 
types,  at  least,  of  the  emotional  complexes,  the  as- 
sociation between  the  idea  and  affect  becomes  so 
firmly  established  that  the  conscious  idea  alone, 
without  the  cooperation  of  a  subconscious  process, 
is  sufficient  to  awake  the  emotion;  just  as  in  Paw- 
low's  dogs  the  artificially  formed  association  be- 
tween a  tactile  stimulus  and  the  salivary  glands  is 
sufficient  to  excite  the  glands  to  activity,  or  as  in 
human  beings  the  idea  of  a  ship  by  pure  association 
may  determine  fear  and  nausea,  the  sound  of  run- 
ning water  by  the  force  of  association  may  excite 
the  bladder  reflex,  or  an  ocular  stimulus  the  so- 
called  hay  fever  complex.  So  in  word-association 
reactions,  when  a  word  is  accompanied  by  an  affect- 
reaction  the  word  itself  may  be  sufficient  to  excite 
the  reaction  without  assuming  that  an  "uncon- 
scious complex  has  been  struck."  The  total  mech- 
anism of  the  process  we  are  investigating  must  be 
determined  in  each  case  for  itself. 

In  the  study  and  formulation  of  psychological 
phenomena  there  is  one  common  tendency  and  dan- 
ger, and  that  is  of  making  the  phenomena  too  sche- 
matic and  sharply  defined,  as  if  we  were  dealing 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  419 

with  material  objects.  Mental  processes  are  not 
only  plastic  but  shifting,  varying,  unstable,  and  un- 
dergo modifications  of  structure  almost  from  mo- 
ment to  moment.  We  describe  a  complex  schemati- 
cally as  if  it  had  a  fixed,  immutable,  and  well-defined 
structure.  This  is  far  from  being  the  case.  Al- 
though there  may  be  a  fairly  fixed  nucleus,  the 
cluster,  as  a  whole,  is  ill  defined  and  undergoes  con- 
siderable modification  from  moment  to  moment. 
New  elements  enter  the  cluster  and  replace  or  are 
added  to  those  which  previously  took  part  in  the 
composition.  An  analogy  might  be  made  with  a 
large  cluster  of  electric  lights  arranged  about  a 
central  predominant  light,  but  so  arranged  that  in- 
dividual lights  could  be  switched  in  and  cut  out  of 
the  cluster  at  any  moment  and  different  colored 
lights  substituted.  The  composition  and  structure 
of  the  cluster,  and  the  intensity  and  color  of  the 
light,  could  be  varied  from  moment  to  moment,  yet 
the  cluster  as  a  cluster  maintained.  We  might  carry 
the  analogy  farther  and  imagine  the  cluster  to  be 
an  advertising  sign  which  had  a  meaning — the  ad- 
vertisement. This  meaning  might  or  might  not  be 
altered  by  the  changes  in  the  individual  lamps. 

The  same  indefiniteness  pertains  to  the  demarca- 
tion between  the  conscious  and  the  subconscious. 
What  was  conscious  at  one  moment  may  be  subcon- 
scious the  next  and  vice  versa.  Under  normal  con- 
ditions there  is  a  continual  shifting  between  the 
conscious  and  subconscious.  I  have  made  numer- 
ous investigations  to  determine  this  point,  and  the 


420  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

evidence  is  fairly  precise,  and  to  me  convincing, 
that  this  shifting  continually  occurs,*  as  might  well 
be  inferred  on  theoretical  grounds.  Nor,  excepting 
in  special  pathological  and  artificial  dissociated  con- 
ditions, is  the  distinction  between  the  conscious  and 
subconscious  at  any  moment  always  sharp  and  pre- 
cise; it  is  often  rather  a  matter  of  vividness  and 
shading,  and  whether  a  conscious  state  is  in  the 
focus  of  attention  or  in  the  fringe.  Experimental 
observation  confirms  introspection  in  this  respect. 
In  view  of  the  foregoing  we  can  now  appreciate 
a  fallacy  which  has  been  too  commonly  accepted  in 
the  interpretation  of  therapeutic  facts.  It  is  quite 
generally  held  that  it  is  a  necessity  that  the  under- 
lying unconscious  complexes  cannot  be  modified 
without  bringing  them  to  the  ''full  light  of  day"  by 
analysis.  The  facts  of  everyday  observation  do  not 
justify  this  conclusion.  The  awakening  of  dormant 
memories  of  past  experiences  is  mainly  of  impor- 
tance for  the  purpose  of  giving  us  exact  infor- 
mation of  what  we  need  to  modify,  not  necessarily 
for  the  purpose  of  effecting  the  modification.  Owing 
to  the  fluidity  of  complexes,  whether  unconscious 
or  conscious,  our  conscious  ideas  can  become  incor- 
porated in  unconscious  complexes.  This  means  that 
any  new  setting  in  which  we  may  incorporate  oar 
conscious  ideas  to  give  them  a  new  meaning  beconus 
effective  in  the  associations  which  these  ideas  have 
as  a  dormant  complex.  The  latter  is  able  to  assimi- 

*  I   am   excluding   conditions   like    split   personalities,    automatic 
writing,  etc.,  and  refer  rather  to  normal  mental  processes. 


TWO    TYPES    OF   PHOBIA  421 

late  from  the  conscious  any  new  material  offered 
to  it.  Practical  therapeutics  and  everyday  experi- 
ence abundantly  have  shown  this.  I  have  accom- 
plished this,  and  I  believe  every  therapeutist  has 
done  the  same  time  and  again.  We  should  be  cau- 
tious not  to  overlook  common  experience  in  the 
enthusiasm  for  new  theories  and  dramatic  observa- 
tions. The  difficulty  is  in  knowing  what  we  want  to 
modify,  and  for  this  purpose  analytical  investiga- 
tions of  one  sort  or  another  are  of  the  highest  as- 
sistance, because  they  furnish  us  with  the  required 
information.  If  we  recover  the  memories  of  the 
unconscious  complex  our  task  is  easier,  as  we  can 
apply  our  art  with  the  greater  skill. 

When  we  speak  of  a  setting  to  an  idea  we  are 
not  entitled  to  think  of  it  as  a  sharply  defined  group 
of  ideas,  or  sharply  limited  subconscious  process. 
When  we  identify  it  with  the  residua  of  past  ex- 
periences we  are  not  entitled,  on  the  basis  of  exact 
knowledge,  to  arbitrarily  make  up  a  selected  cluster 
of  residua  which  shall  exclude  those  and  include 
these  residual  elements  of  antecedent  associated  ex- 
periences, and  dogmatically  postulate  the  composi- 
tion of  the  complex  which  we  call  the  setting.  Analy- 
sis by  the  very  limitations  of  the  method  fails  to 
permit  of  such  arbitrary  selection,  and  synthetic 
methods  are  not  sufficiently  exact  for  the  purpose. 
All  we  can  say  is  that  from  the  residua  of  various 
past  experiences  a  complex  is  sifted  out  to  become 
the  setting.  And  even  then  no  process  is  entirely 


422  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

autonomous  and  entirely  removed  from  the  interfer- 
ing, directing,  and  cooperative  influence  of  other 
processes.  Even  with  simple  and  purely  physiolog- 
ical processes,  such  as  the  knee  jerk,  this  is  true. 
Although  the  knee  jerk  may  be  schematically  con- 
ceived as  a  simple  reflex  arc  involving  the  peripheral 
nerves  and  the  spinal  cord,  nevertheless  other  parts 
of  the  nervous  system — the  brain  and  the  spinal 
cord — provide  cooperative  processes  which  take 
part,  and  under  special  conditions  take  a  very  active 
part,  in  modifying  the  phenomenon.  While  we  are 
justified,  for  the  clarifying  purposes  of  exposition, 
in  schematizing  the  phenomenon  by  selecting  the 
spinal  reflex  as  the  predominant  process,  yet  we 
do  not  overlook  the  cooperative  processes  which 
may  control  and  modify  the  spinal  reflex.  If  this  is 
true  of  purely  physiological  processes,  it  is  still 
more  true  of  the  enormously  more  complex  proc- 
esses of  human  intelligence. 

We  may  say,  then,  not  only  that  with  our  present 
knowledge  and  our  present  methods  we  are  not  able 
to  precisely  differentiate  the  settings  of  ideas,  but 
that  it  is  highly  improbable  that  settings  as  com- 
plexes of  residua  are  with  any  preciseness  func- 
tionally entirely  autonomous  and  removed  from  the 
influence  of  other  associative  processes. 

We  need  further  investigations  into  the  psychol- 
ogy and  processes  of  settings,  and  until  we  have 
wider  and  more  exact  knowledge  it  is  well  not  to 
theorize  and  still  more  not  to  dogmatize.  It  is  an 
inviting  field  which  awaits  the  psychologist. 


Emotion,*  more  particularly  fear,  plays  so  large 
a  part  in  the  psychogenesis  and  symptomatology  of 
the  psychoses  that  it  is  desirable  to  have  a  clear 
realization  of  its  physiological  and  psychological 
manifestations  and  of  the  disturbances  of  the  or- 
ganism which  it  can  induce.  It  is  not  necessary  for 
our  purpose  to  discuss  the  various  theories  of  the 
nature  of  emotion  that  have  been  propounded;  we 
need  deal  only  with  the  manifestations  of  emotion 
and  its  effect  upon  the  organism.f  We  will  con- 
sider the  physiological  manifestations  first. 

When  a  strong  emotion  is  awakened  in  conscious- 
ness there  are  a  large  number  of  physiological  re- 
actions, for  the  most  part  visceral,  which  can  be 
noted.  Some  of  these  may  be  graphically  recorded 
and  measured  by  means  of  instruments  of  precision. 
These  physiological  reactions  are  numerous  and 
have  been  extensively  described  by  Fere  J  among 
others.  The  earlier  work  of  Mosso  upon  the  dis- 

*  I  use  the  word,  not  in  the  strict  but  in  the  popular  and  gen- 
eral sense,  to  include  feeling,  indeed  all  affective  states,  excepting 
where  the  context  gives  the  strict  meaning. 

t  The  James-Lange  theory  is  disregarded  here  as  untenable. 

J  La  Pathologic  des  Emotions,  1892. 

423 


424  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

turbances  of  the  respiration  and  vasomotor  ap- 
paratus induced  by  sensory  stimulation  is  well 
known. 

More  recently  considerable  experimental  work 
has  been  done,  particularly  by  German  investiga- 
tors, to  determine  the  influence  of  affective  states 
upon  the  circulation  and  respiration. 

Modifications  of  the  peripheral  circulation,  mani- 
fested through  pallor  or  turgescence  of  the  skin  and 
measured  by  changes  recorded  by  the  plethismo- 
graph  in  the  volume  of  the  limbs;  modifications  of 
the  volume  of  the  heart  and  of  the  rhythm  and 
force  of  the  beats  recorded  by  the  sphygmograph, 
and  of  arterial  tension  measured  by  the  sphygmo- 
monometer  are  common  phenomena.  (Fear  is 
more  particularly  accompanied  by  pallor,  and 
shame  by  turgescence — blushing.  Anger  in  some  is 
manifested  by  pallor  and  in  others  by  turgescence, 
and  so  on.)  Changes  in  rate  of  the  heart-beats  be- 
long to  popular  knowledge.  It  is  not  so  well  known, 
even  to  physiologists  that  the  volume  of  the  heart 
may  be  affected  by  emotion.  In  several  series  of 
observations  made  under  conditions  of  emotional 
excitement  upon  a  large  number  of  healthy  men, 
candidates  for  civil  service  appointments,  I  re- 
corded in  a  high  percentage  not  only  alterations  in 
the  rate  and  rhythm  and  force  of  the  heart-beat,  but 
temporary  dilatation  of  the  heart  lasting  during  the 
period  of  excitement.*  This  dilatation  in  some 

*  Physiological  Dilatation  and  the  Mitral  Sphincter  as  Factors  in 
Functional  and  Organic  Disturbances  of  the  Heart,  The  American 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF    EMOTION 


425 


cases  was  sufficient  to  lead  to  insufficiency  of  the  mi- 
tral valve  and  to  give  rise  to  murmurs.  The  exami- 
nation was  purposely  conducted  so  as  to  induce  a 
high  degree  of  emotional  excitement,  at  least  in 
many  men.  In  another  series  of  observations  (not 
published)  the  arterial  tension  was  measured,  and 
it  was  found,  as  would  be  expected,  that  an  increase 
of  tension  accompanied  the  cardiac  excitation  under 
emotion.* 


Fig.  2.  J.,  acute  katatonic  stupor,  b  is  a  wave  selected  from  the 
series  in  which  6  is  sudden  call  by  name.  The  galvanometer  curve  (a) 
is  slight,  but  the  change  in  the  pneumograph  curve  is  notable. 
(Peterson  and  Jung.f) 

Journal  of  the  Medical  Sciences,  February,  1901;  also,  The  Occur- 
rence and  Mechanism  of  Physiological  Heart  Murmurs  (Endocar- 
dial)  in  Healthy  Individuals,  The  Medical  Record,  April  20,  1889. 

*  The  emotional  factor  is  a  source  of  possible  fallacy  in  all  ob- 
servations on  arterial  tension  and  must  be  guarded  against. 

f  Frederick  Peterson  and  C.  G.  Jung:  Psycho-Physical  Investiga- 
tions with  the  Galvanometer  and  Pneumograph,  Brain,  Vol.  XXX, 
July,  1907,  p.  153. 


426  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

As  to  the  respiratory  apparatus  the  effect  of  emo- 
tion in  altering  the  rate  and  depth  of  respiration 
may  be  shown  by  the  pneumograph ;  by  this  method 
the  effects  of  slight  emotion  that  otherwise  would 
escape  observation  may  be  detected.  Such  a  dis- 
turbance of  respiration  is  shown  in  the  tracing, 
Fig.  2. 

That  emotion  will  profoundly  affect  the  respira- 
tion has  of  course  been  common  knowledge  from 
time  immemorial,  and  has  been  made  use  of  by 
writers  of  fiction  and  actors  for  dramatic  effect. 
The  same  may  be  said  of  modifications  of  the  func- 
tioning of  the  whole  respiratory  apparatus,  includ- 
ing the  nostrils  and  the  mouth;  and  likewise  of  the 
decrease  or  increase  of  secretions  (dryness  of  the 
mouth  from  fear,  and  "foaming"  from  anger). 
These  are  among  the  well  known  physiological  ef- 
fects of  emotions. 

Increase  of  sweat  sometimes  amounting  to  an  out- 
pour, and  alterations  in  the  amount  of  the  various 
glandular  secretions  (salivary,  gastric,  etc.),  and 
rigor  are  important  phenomena. 

The  remarkable  researches  of  Pawlow  *  and  his 
co-workers  in  Eussia  on  the  work  of  the  digestive 
glands,  and  those  of  Cannon  f  in  America  on  the 
movements  of  the  stomach  and  intestines  have  re- 

*  The  Work  of  the  Digestive  Glands  (English  Translation),  Lon- 
don, 1902. 

t  For  a  summary  of  Cannon 's  work,  see  his  article,  Eecent  Ad- 
vances in  the  Physiology  of  the  Digestive  Organs  Bearing  on  Medi- 
cine and  Surgery,  The  Medical  Journal  of  Medical  Sciences,  1906, 
New  Series,  Vol.  CXXXI,  pp.  563-578. 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF   EMOTION          427 

vealed  that  these  functions  are  influenced  in  an  as- 
tonishing degree  by  psychical  factors. 

Although  it  has  long  been  known  that  the  sight  of 
food  under  certain  conditions  would  call  forth  a 
secretion  of  gastric  juice  in  a  hungry  dog  (Bidder 
and  Smith,  1852),  and  common  observation  has  told 
us  that  emotion  strongly  affects  the  gastrointestinal 
functions,  increasing  or  diminishing  the  secretions 
of  saliva  and  gastric  juice,  and  even  producing  dys- 
peptic disturbances  and  diarrhoea,  it  has  remained 
for  Pawlow  and  his  co-workers  to  demonstrate  the 
important  part  which  the  ' '  appetite, "  as  a  psychical 
state,  plays  in  the  process  of  digestion.  In  hungry 
dogs  a  large  quantity  of  gastric  juice,  rich  in  fer- 
ment, is  poured  out  when  food  is  swallowed,  and 
even  at  the  sight  of  food,  and  it  was  proved  that 
this  outpouring  was  due  to  psychical  influences. 
Simply  teasing  and  tempting  the  animal  with  food 
cause  secretions,  and  food  associations  in  the  en- 
vironment may  have  the  same  effect.  "If  the  dog 
has  not  eaten  for  a  long  time  every  movement,  the 
going  out  of  the  room,  the  appearance  of  the  at- 
tendant who  ordinarily  feeds  the  animal — in  a  word, 
every  triviality — may  give  rise  to  excitation  of  the 
gastric  glands."  (Pawlow,  p.  73.)  This  first  se- 
creted juice  is  called  "appetite  juice,"  and  is  an  im- 
portant factor  in  the  complicated  process  of  diges- 
tion. "The  appetite  is  the  first  and  mightiest 
exciter  of  the  secretory  nerves  of  the  stomach." 
(Pawlow,  p.  75.)  Pawlow 's  results  have  been  con- 
firmed in  man  by  Hornborg,  Umber,  Bickel,  and 


428  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Cade  and  Latarjet.  The  mere  chewing  of  appetizing 
food,  for  instance,  is  followed  by  a  copious  discharge 
of  gastric  juice,  while  chewing  of  rubber  and  dis- 
tasteful substances  has  a  negative  result.  Depres- 
sing emotions  inhibit  the  secretion  of  juice  (Bickel). 
More  than  this,  Cannon,*  in  his  very  remarkable 
experiments  on  the  movements  of  the  stomach  and 
intestines,  found  that  in  animals  (cat,  rabbit,  dog, 
etc.),  gastric  peristalsis  is  stopped  whenever  the 
animal  manifests  signs  of  rage,  distress,  or  even 
anxiety.  "Any  signs  of  emotional  disturbance, 
even  the  restlessness  and  continual  mewing  which 
may  be  taken  to  indicate  uneasiness  and  discom- 
fort, were  accompanied  in  the  cat  by  total  cessation 
of  the  segmentation  movements  of  the  small  intes- 
tines, and  of  antiperistalsis  in  the  proximal  colon." 
Bickel  and  Sasaki  have  confirmed  in  dogs  these  emo- 
tional effects  obtained  by  Pawlow  and  Cannon. 

The  effect  of  the  emotions  on  the  digestive  proc- 
esses is  so  important  from  the  standpoint  of  clin- 
ical medicine  that  I  quote  the  following  summary 
of  published  observations  from  Cannon:  "Horn- 
borg  found  that  when  the  boy  whom  he  studied 
chewed  agreeable  food  a  more  or  less  active  secre- 
tion of  the  gastric  juice  was  started,  whereas  the 
chewing  of  indifferent  material  was  without  influ- 
ence. 

*  American  Journal  of  Medical  Sciences,  1906,  p.  566.  See  also 
*'The  Influence  of  Emotional  States  on  the  Functions  of  .the  Ali- 
mentary Canal,"  by  the  same  writer  (ibid.,  April,  1909)  for  an  in- 
teresting resume  of  the  subject. 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF   EMOTION          429 

"Not  only  is  it  true  that  normal  secretion  is  fa- 
vored by  pleasurable  sensations  during  mastication, 
but  also  that  unpleasant  feelings,  such  as  vexation 
and  some  of  the  major  emotions,  are  accompanied 
by  a  failure  of  secretion.  Thus  Hornborg  was  un- 
able to  confirm  in  his  patient  the  observation  of 
Pawlow  that  mere  sight  of  food  to  a  hungry  sub- 
ject causes  the  flow  of  gastric  juice.  Hornborg 
explains  the  difference  between  his  and  Pawlow 's 
results  by  the  difference  in  the  reaction  of  the  sub- 
jects to  the  situation.  When  food  was  shown,  but 
withheld,  Pawlow 's  hungry  dogs  were  all  eagerness 
to  secure  it,  and  the  juice  at  once  began  to  flow. 
Hornborg 's  little  boy,  on  the  contrary,  became  vexed 
when  he  could  not  eat  at  once,  and  began  to  cry; 
then  no  secretion  appeared.  Bogen  also  reports 
that  his  patient,  a  child,  aged  three  and  a  half  years, 
sometimes  fell  into  such  a  passion  in  consequence 
of  vain  hoping  for  food,  that  the  giving  of  the  food, 
after  calming  the  child,  was  not  followed  by  any 
secretion  of  the  gastric  juice. 

"The  observations  of  Bickel  and  Sasaki  confirm 
and  define  more  precisely  the  inhibitory  effects  of 
violent  emotion  on  gastric  secretion.  They  studied 
these  effects  on  a  dog  with  an  O2sophageal  fistula, 
and  with  a  side  pouch  of  the  stomach  which,  accord- 
ing to  Pawlow 's  method,  opened  only  to  the  exterior. 
If  the  animal  was  permitted  to  eat  while  the 
oesophageal  fistula  was  open  the  food  passed  out 
through  the  fistula  and  did  not  go  to  the  stomach. 
Bickel  and  Sasaki  confirmed  the  observation  of 


430  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

Pawlow  that  this  sham  feeding  is  attended  by  a 
copious  flow  of  gastric  juice,  a  true  'psychic  secre- 
tion,' resulting  from  the  pleasurable  taste  of  the 
food.  In  a  typical  instance  the  sham  feeding  lasted 
five  minutes,  and  the  secretion  continued  for  twenty 
minutes,  during  which  time  66.7  c.  c.  of  pure  gastric 
juice  was  produced. 

* '  On  another  day  a  cat  was  brought  into  the  pres- 
ence of  the  dog,  whereupon  the  dog  flew  into  a  great 
fury.  The  cat  was  soon  removed,  and  the  dog  paci- 
fied. Now  the  dog  was  again  given  the  sham  feeding 
for  five  minutes.  In  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  ani- 
mal was  hungry  and  ate  eagerly,  there  was  no  se- 
cretion worthy  of  mention.  During  a  period  of 
twenty  minutes,  corresponding  to  the  previous  ob- 
servation, only  9  c.  c.  of  acid  fluid  was  produced, 
and  this  was  rich  in  mucus.  It  is  evident  that  in 
the  dog,  as  in  the  boy  observed  by  Bogen,  strong 
emotions  can  so  profoundly  disarrange  the  mech- 
anisms of  secretion  that  the  natural  nervous  exci- 
tation accompanying  the  taking  of  food  cannot 
cause  the  normal  flow. 

"On  another  occasion  Bickel  and  Sasaki  started 
gastric  secretion  in  the  dog  by  sham  feeding,  and 
when  the  flow  of  gastric  juice  had  reached  a  cer- 
tain height  the  dog  was  infuriated  for  five  minutes 
by  the  presence  of  the  cat.  During  the  next  fifteen 
minutes  there  appeared  only  a  few  drops  of  a  very 
mucous  secretion.  Evidently  in  this  instance  a 
physiological  process,  started  as  an  accompaniment 
of  a  psychic  state  quietly  pleasurable  in  character, 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF   EMOTION          431 

was  almost  entirely  stopped  by  another  psychic 
state  violent  in  character. 

"It  is  noteworthy  that  in  both  the  positive  and 
negative  results  of  the  emotional  excitement  illus- 
trated in  Bickel  and  Sasaki's  dog  the  effects  per- 
sisted long  after  the  removal  of  the  exciting  condi- 
tion. This  fact  Bickel  was  able  to  confirm  in  a  girl 
with  O3sophageal  and  gastric  fistulas;  the  gastric 
secretion  long  outlasted  the  period  of  eating,  al- 
though no  food  entered  the  stomach.  The  impor- 
tance of  these  observations  to  personal  economics 
is  too  obvious  to  require  elaboration. 

"Not  only  are  the  secretory  activities  of  the 
stomach  unfavorably  affected  by  strong  emotions; 
the  movements  of  the  stomach  as  well,  and,  indeed, 
the  movements  of  almost  the  entire  alimentary 
canal,  are  wholly  stopped  during  excitement. ' '  * 

So  you  see  that  the  proverb,  "Better  a  dinner 
of  herbs  where  love  is  than  a  stalled  ox  and  hatred 
therewith,"  has  a  physiological  as  well  as  a  moral 
basis. 

Nearly  any  sensory  or  psychical  stimulus  can  be 
artificially  made  to  excite  the  secretion  of  saliva  as 
determined  by  experimentation  on  animals  by 
Pawlow. 

It  is  probable  that  all  the  ductless  glands  (thy- 
roid, suprarenal,  etc.),  are  likewise  under  the  influ- 
ence of  the  emotions.  The  suprarenal  glands  se- 
crete a  substance  which  in  almost  infinitesimal  doses 
has  a  powerful  effect  upon  the  heart  and  blood  ves- 

*  American  Journal  of  the  Medical  Sciences,  April,  1909. 


432  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

sels,  increasing  the  force  of  the  former  and  con- 
tracting the  peripheral  arterioles.  The  recent 
observations  of  Cannon  and  de  la  Paz  have  demon- 
strated in  the  cat  that  under  the  influence  of  fear  or 
anger  an  increase  of  this  substance  is  poured  into 
the  circulation.*  Cannon,  Shohl  and  Wright  have 
also  demonstrated  that  the  glycosuria  which  was 
known  to  occur  in  animals  experimented  upon  in 
the  laboratory  is  due  (in  cats)  to  the  influence  of 
the  emotions,  very  probably  discharging  through 
the  sympathetic  system  on  the  adrenal  glands  and 
increasing  their  secretion.f  The  glycosuria  is  un- 
doubtedly due  to  an  increase  of  sugar  in  the  blood. 
It  is  interesting  to  note,  in  this  connection,  that  there 
is  considerable  clinical  evidence  that  indicates  that 
some  cases  of  diabetes  and  glycosuria  have  an  emo- 
tional origin.  The  same  is  true  of  disease  of  the 
thyroid  gland  (exophthalmic  goiter). 

Most  of  the  viscera  are  innervated  by  the  sympa- 
thetic system,  and  the  visceral  manifestations  of 
emotion  indicate  the  dominance  of  sympathetic  im- 
pulses. "When,  for  example,  a  cat  becomes  fright- 
ened, the  pupils  dilate,  the  stomach  and  intestines 
are  inhibited,  the  heart  beats  rapidly,  the  hairs  of 
the  back  and  tail  stand  erect — all  signs  of  nervous 
discharge  along  sympathetic  paths"  (Cannon). 
Cannon  and  his  co-workers  have  further  made  the 
acute  suggestion  that,  as  adrenalin  itself  is  capable 

*  Cannon  and  de  la  Paz :  American  Journal  of  Physiology,  April 
1,  1911. 

t  Cannon,  Shohl,  and  Wright,  Ibid.,  December  1,  1911. 


MANIFESTATIONS   OF   EMOTION          433 

of  working  the  effects  evoked  by  sympathetic  stimu- 
lation, '  *  the  persistence  of  the  emotional  state,  after 
the  exciting  object  has  disappeared,  can  be  ex- 
plained" by  the  persistence  of  the  adrenalin  in  the 
blood.  There  is  reason  to  believe  that  some  of  the 
adrenal  secretion  set  free  by  nervous  stimulation 
returning  in  the  blood  stream  to  the  glands  stimu- 
lates them  to  further  activity,  and  this  would  tend 
to  continue  the  emotional  effect  after  the  emotion 
has  subsided.  "  Indeed  it  was  the  lasting  effect  of 
excitement  in  digestive  processes  which  suggested" 
to  Cannon  his  investigations.* 

According  to  Fere  f  the  pupils  may  dilate  under 
the  influence  of  asthenic  emotions  and  contract  with 
sthenic  emotions.  However  that  may  be,  the  dilata- 
tion of  the  pupils  during  states  of  fear  may  be  dem- 
onstrated in  animals. 

The  influence  of  emotion  on  the  muscular  system 
need  hardly  be  more  than  referred  to.  Tremor, 
twitchings,  particularly  of  the  facial  muscles,  and 
other  involuntary  movements,  as  well  as  modifica- 
tions of  the  tonus  of  the  muscles,  are  common  ef- 
fects. All  sorts  of  disturbances  occur,  ranging  from 
increase  of  excitability  to  paralysis.  Everyone 
knows  that  under  the  influence  of  powerful  emo- 
tion, whether  of  joy,  anger,  or  fear,  there  is  dis- 
charged an  increase  of  energy  to  the  muscles,  some- 
times of  an  intensity  which  enables  an  individual  to 

*  These  effects  of  adrenalin  suggest  that  the  secretion  may  take 
some  part  in  pathological  anxiety  states. 
t  Pathologic  des  Emotions,  1892. 


434  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

exert  force  of  which  he  is  ordinarily  incapable.  Or 
this  energy,  instead  of  being  discharged  into  the 
channels  being  made  use  of  by  the  will,  and  so  aug- 
menting its  effects,  may  be  so  discharged  as  to  in- 
hibit the  will,  and  produce  paralysis  of  the  will  and 
muscular  action. 

These  muscular  vasomotor  and  secretory  changes 
need  not  surprise  us,  as  indeed  they  have  a  biologi- 
cal meaning.  As  Sherrington  *  has  pointed  out, 
"there  is  a  strong  bond  between  emotion  and  mus- 
cular action.  Emotion  'moves'  us,  hence  the  word 
itself.  If  developed  in  intensity,  it  impels  toward 
vigorous  movement.  Every  vigorous  movement  of 
the  body  .  .  .  involves  also  the  less  noticeable  co- 
operation of  the  viscera,  especially  of  the  circu- 
latory and  respiratory  [and,  I  would  add,  the 
secretory  glands  of  the  skin].  The  extra  demand 
made  upon  the  muscles  that  move  the  frame  involves 
a  heightened  action  of  the  nutrient  organs  which 
supply  to  the  muscles  the  material  for  their  en- 
ergy"; and  also  involves  a  heightened  action  of  the 
sweat  glands  to  maintain  the  thermic  equilibrium. 
"We  should  expect,"  Sherrington  remarks,  "vis- 
ceral action  to  occur  along  with  the  muscular  ex- 
pression of  emotion,"  and  we  should  expect,  it  may 
be  added,  that  through  this  mechanism  emotion 
should  become  integrated  with  vasomotor,  secretory, 
and  other  visceral  functions. 

Another  physiological  effect  of  emotion  ought  to 
be  mentioned,  as  of  recent  years  it  has  been  the  ob- 

*  The  Integrative  Action  of  the  Nervous  System,  p.  266. 


MANIFESTATIONS   OF   EMOTION          435 

ject  of  much  and  intensive  study  by  numerous  stu- 
dents and  has  been  frequently  made  use  of  in  the 
clinical  study  of  mental  derangements  and  in  the 
study  of  subconscious  phenomena.  I  refer  to  the 
so-called  "psycho-galvanic  reflex."  As  an  outcome 
of  all  the  investigations  which  have  been  made  by 
numerous  students  into  this  phenomenon,  it  now 
seems  clear  that  there  are  two  types  of  galvanic 
reactions,  distinct  from  each  other,  which  can  be 
recognized.  The  one  type  first  described  by  Fere  * 
consists  in  an  increase,  brought  about  by  emotion, 
of  a  galvanic  current  made  to  pass  through  the  body 
from  a  galvanic  cell.  If  a  very  sensitive  galvanome- 
ter is  put  in  circuit  with  the  body  and  such  a  cell,  a 
certain  deviation  of  the  needle  of  course  may  be 
noted  varying  in  amplitude  according  to  the  resist- 
ance of  the  body.  Now,  if  an  idea  associated  with 
emotion — i.  e.,  possessing  a  sufficient  amount  of  af- 
fective tone — is  made  to  enter  the  consciousness  of 
the  person  experimented  upon,  there  is  observed  an 
increased  deflection  of  the  needle,  showing  an  in- 
crease of  current  under  the  influence  of  the  emotion. 
The  generally  accepted  interpretation  of  this  in- 
crease is  that  it  is  due  to  diminished  resistance  of 
the  skin  (with  which  the  electrodes  are  in  contact) 
caused  by  an  increase  of  the  secretions  of  the  sweat 
glands.  A  similar  increase  of  current  follows  vari- 
ous sensory  stimulations,  such  as  the  pricking  of  a 

*  Note  sur  les  modifications  de  la  resistance  Slectrique  sous  1  'in- 
fluence des  excitations  sensorielles  et  des  Emotions,  C.  E.  Soc.  de 
Biologic,  1888,  p.  217. 


436  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

pin,  loud  noises,  etc.  It  may  be  interesting  for  his- 
torical reasons  to  quote  here  Fere 's  statement  of  his 
observations,  as  they  seem  to  be  generally  over- 
looked. In  his  volume,  "La  Pathologic  des  Emo- 
tions, ' '  in  1892,  he  thus  sums  up  his  earlier  and  later 
observations:  "I  then  produce  various  sensory 
stimulations — visual  (colored  glasses),  auditory 
(tuning  fork),  gustatory,  olfactory,  etc.  Where- 
upon there  results  a  sudden  deviation  of  the  needle 
of  the  galvanometer  which,  for  the  strongest  stimu- 
lations, may  travel  fifteen  divisions  (milliamperes). 
The  same  deviation  may  also  be  produced  under  the 
influence  of  sthenic  emotions,  that  is  to  say,  it  is 
produced  under  all  the  conditions  where  I  have  pre- 
viously noticed  an  augmentation  of  the  size  of  the 
limbs,  made  evident  through  the  plethysmograph. 
Absence  of  stimulation,  on  the  contrary,  increases 
the  resistance;  in  one  subject  the  deviation  was  re- 
duced by  simply  closing  the  eyes. 

"Since  these  facts  were  first  described  at  the  Bi- 
ological Society  I  have  been  enabled  to  make  more 
exact  observations  by  using  the  process  recom- 
mended by  A.  Vigouroux  (De  la  resistance  elec- 
trique  chex  les  melancoliques,  Th.  1890,  p.  17),  and 
I  have  ascertained  that  under  the  influence  of  pain- 
ful emotions  or  tonic  emotions  the  electrical  resist- 
ance may,  in  hystericals,  instantaneously  vary  from 
4,000  to  60,000  ohms." 

It  will  be  noticed  that  Fere  attributed  the  varia- 
tions of  the  current  to  variations  of  resistance  of 
the  body  induced  by  sensations  and  emotions. 


MANIFESTATIONS   OP   EMOTION          437 

The  method  of  obtaining  the  psycho-galvanic  re- 
action may  be  varied  in  many  ways,  the  underlying 
principle  being  the  same,  namely,  the  arousing  of 
an  emotion  of  some  kind.  This  may  be  simply 
through  imagined  ideas,  or  by  expectant  attention, 
sensory  stimulation,  suggested  thoughts,  verbal 
stimuli,  etc.  According  to  Peterson  and  Jung,* 
' '  excluding  the  effect  of  attention,  we  find  that  every 
stimulus  accompanied  by  an  emotion  causes  a  rise 
in  the  electric  curve,  and  directly  in  proportion  to 
the  liveliness  and  actuality  of  the  emotion  aroused. 
The  galvanometer  is  therefore  a  measurer  of  the 
amount  of  emotional  tone,  and  becomes  a  new  instru- 
ment of  precision  in  psychological  research. ' '  This 
last  statement  can  hardly  be  said  to  be  justified,  as 
we  have  no  means  of  measuring  the  "liveliness  and 
actuality"  of  an  emotion  and,  therefore,  of  co-re- 
lating it  with  a  galvanic  current,  nor  have  we  any 
grounds  for  assuming  that  the  secretion  of  sweat 
(upon  which  the  diminished  resistance  of  the  body 
presumably  depends)  is  proportionate  to  the  live- 
liness of  the  emotion,  or,  indeed,  even  that  it  always 
occurs.  It  is  enough  to  say  that  the  galvanic  cur- 
rent is  in  general  a  means  of  detecting  the  presence 
of  emotion. 

The  second  type  of  galvanic  reaction,  as  shown  by 
Sidis  and  Kalmus,f  does  not  depend  upon  the  di- 

*  Psycho-Physical  Investigations  with  the  Galvanometer  and  Pneu- 
mograph  in  Normal  and  Insane  Individuals,  Brain,  Vol.  XXX,  July, 
1907. 

f  Psychological  Seview,  November,  1908,  and  January,  1909. 


438  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

minished  resistance  of  the  body  to  a  galvanic  cur- 
rent passing  from  without  through  the  body,  but  is 
a  current  originating  within  the  body  under  the  in- 
fluence of  emotion.  Sidis  and  Kalmus  concluded 
that  "  active  psycho-physiological  processes,  sen- 
sory and  emotional  processes,  with  the  exception  of 
purely  ideational  ones,  initiated  in  a  living  organ- 
ism, bring  about  electromotive  forces  with  conse- 
quent galvanometric  deflections."  In  a  later  series 
of  experiments  Sidis  and  Nelson  *  came  to  the  con- 
clusion that  the  origin  of  the  electromotive  force 
causing  the  galvanic  deflection  was  in  the  muscles. f 
Wells  and  Forbes, J  on  the  other  hand,  conclude  from 
their  own  investigation  that  the  origin  of  the  gal- 
vanic current  is  to  be  found  in  the  sweat  gland  ac- 
tivity and  believe  the  muscular  origin  improbable. 
From  a  clinical  standpoint  the  question  is  unimpor- 
tant. 

Sensory  disturbances.  On  the  sensory  side  the 
effect  of  emotions,  particularly  unpleasant  ones,  in 

*  The  Nature  and  Causation  of  the  Galvanic  Phenomena,  Psycho- 
logical Review,  March,  1910,  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  June- 
July,  1910. 

f  Having  demonstrated  the  development  of  electromotive  force 
within  the  body,  these  experimenters  assumed  that  every  psycho-gal- 
vanic reaction  was  of  this  type.  But  plainly,  their  results  do  not 
contradict  the  phenomenon  of  diminished  resistance  of  the  body  to 
an  electric  current  brought  about  by  emotion  stimulating  the  sweat 
glands.  The  evidence  indicates,  as  I  have  said,  two  types  of  psycho- 
galvanic  phenomena. 

J  On  Certain  Electrical  Processes  in  the  Human  Body  and  Their 
Eelation  to  Emotional  Keactions,  Archives  of  Psychology,  March, 
1911. 


439 

awakening  "thrills"  and  all  sorts  of  sensations  in 
different  parts  of  the  body  is  a  matter  of  everyday 
observation.  Nausea,  dizziness,  headache,  pains  of 
different  kinds  are  common  accompaniments.  Such 
reactions,  however,  largely  vary  as  idiosyncrasies 
of  the  individual,  and  are  obviously  not  open  to  ex- 
perimentation or  measurement.  Whether  they 
should  be  spoken  of  as  physiological  or  aberrant  re- 
actions is  a  matter  of  terminology.  They  are,  how- 
ever, of  common  occurrence.  In  pathological  condi- 
tions disagreeable  sensations  accompanying  fear, 
grief,  disgust,  and  other  distressing  forms  of  emo- 
tion often  play  a  prominent  part,  and  as  symptoms 
contribute  to  the  syndromes  of  the  psychosis.  The 
following  quaintly  described  case  quoted  by  Cannon 
from  Burton's  Anatomy  of  Melancholy  is  as  good 
as  a  more  modern  illustration :  "A  gentlewoman  of 
the  same  city  saw  a  fat  hog  cut  up ;  when  the  entrails 
were  opened,  and  a  noisome  savour  offended  her 
nose,  she  much  disliked,  and  would  not  longer  abide ; 
a  physician  in  presence  told  her,  as  that  hog,  so  was 
she  full  of  filthy  excrements,  and  aggravated  the 
matter  by  some  other  loathsome  instances,  insomuch 
this  nice  gentlewoman  apprehended  it  so  deeply  that 
she  fell  forthwith  a  vomiting;  was  so  mightily  dis- 
tempered in  mind  and  body  that,  with  all  his  art  and 
persuasion,  for  some  months  after,  he  could  not  re- 
store her  to  herself  again;  she  could  not  forget  or 
remove  the  object  out  of  her  sight."  Cannon  re- 
marks :  *  *  Truly,  here  was  a  moving  circle  of  causa- 
tion, in  which  the  physician  himself  probably  played 


440  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  part  of  a  recurrent  augmenter  of  the  trouble. 
The  first  disgust  disturbed  the  stomach,  and  the  dis- 
turbance of  the  stomach,  in  turn,  aroused  in  the 
mind  greater  disgust,  and  thus  between  them  the  in- 
fluences continued  to  and  fro  until  digestion  was 
impaired  and  serious  functional  derangement  super- 
vened. The  stomach  is  'king  of  the  belly,'  quotes 
Burton,  'for  if  he  is  affected  all  the  rest  suffer  with 
him.'  " 

Such  cases  could  be  multiplied  many  fold  from  the 
records  of  every  psychopathologist.  I  happen  by 
chance  to  be  interrupted  while  writing  this  page  by 
a  patient  who  presents  herself  suffering  from  a 
phobia  of  fainting.  When  this  fear  (possibly  with 
other  emotions)  is  awakened  she  is  attacked  by 
nausea  and  eructation  of  the  gastric  contents,  and, 
if  she  takes  food,  by  vomiting  of  the  meal.  (Owing 
to  a  misunderstanding  of  the  true  pathology  by  her 
physician,  her  stomach  was  washed  out  constantly 
for  a  period  of  two  years  without  relief!) 

General  psychopathology — In  the  light  of  all  these 
well-known  physiological  effects  of  emotion  it  is 
apparent  that  when  an  idea  possessing  a  strong  emo- 
tional tone,  such  as  fear  or  its  variants,  enters  con- 
sciousness, it  is  accompanied  by  a  complex  of  physi- 
ological reactions.  In  other  words,  fear,  as  a  bio- 
logical reaction  of  the  organism  to  a  stimulus,  does 
not  consist  of  the  psychical  element  alone,  but  in- 
cludes a  large  syndrome  of  physiological  processes. 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF   EMOTION          441 

We  can,  indeed,  theoretically  construct  a  schema 
which  would  represent  the  emotional  reaction.  This 
schema  would  undoubtedly  vary  in  detail  in  particu- 
lar cases,  according  to  the  excitability  of  the  differ- 
ent visceral  functions  involved  in  different  individu- 
als and  to  the  mixture  of  the  emotions  taking  part 
(fear,  disgust,  shame,  anger,  etc.).  As  one  type,  for 
instance,  of  a  schema,  taking  only  the  most  obtrusive 
phenomena  which  do  not  require  special  technique 
for  their  detection,  we  would  have : 

Fear  (or  one  of  its  variants,  anxiety,  apprehension, 
etc.,  or  a  compound  emotion  that  includes  fear). 

Inhibition  of  thought  (confusion). 

Pallor  of  the  skin. 

Increased  perspiration. 

Cardiac  palpitation. 

Respiratory  disturbances. 

Tremor. 

Muscular  weakness. 

Gastric  and  intestinal  disturbances. 

(Blushing  or  congestion  of  the  skin  would  replace 
pallor  if  the  fear  was  represented  or  accompanied 
by  shame  or  bashfulness,  etc.  (self -debasement  and 
self-consciousness),*  or  if  the  affective  state  was 
anger.) 

On  the  sensory  side  we  would  have  various  pares- 
thesiae  varying  with  the  idiosyncrasies  of  the  indi- 

*  Morbid  self -consciousness  is  commonly  accompanied  by  fear  and 
other  emotions.  Nausea,  although  the  specific  manifestation  of  dis- 
gust, not  rarely  is  induced  by  fear. 


442  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

vidual,  and  apparently  dependent  upon  the  paths 
through  which  the  emotional  energy  is  discharged: 

"Thrills." 

Feeling  of  oppression  in  the  chest. 

Headache. 

Nausea  (with  or  without  vomiting). 

Pains,  fatigue,  etc. 

It  is  of  practical  importance  to  note  that  attacks 
of  powerful  emotions,  according  to  common  experi- 
ence, are  apt  to  be  followed  by  exhaustion;  conse- 
quently in  morbid  fears  fatigue  is  a  frequent 
sequela. 

Physiological  Mimicry  of  Disease. 

Now,  theoretically,  one  or  more  of  these  physio- 
logical disturbances  might  be  so  obtrusive  as  to  be 
the  predominant  feature  of  the  syndrome  and  to 
mask  the  psychical  element  which  might  then  be 
overlooked.  Gastric  and  intestinal  disturbances,  for 
instance,  or  cardiac  distress,  might  be  so  marked  as 
not  to  be  recognized  as  simply  manifestations  of  an 
emotion,  but  be  mistaken  for  true  gastric,  intestinal, 
or  heart  disease.  Going  one  step  further,  if  a  per- 
son had  a  frequently  recurring  fear,  as  is  so  com- 
mon, and  the  physiological  symptoms  were  obtru- 
sively predominant,  these  latter  would  necessarily 
recur  in  attacks  and,  overshadowing  the  psychical 
element,  might  well  have  all  the  appearance  (both  to 
the  subject  and  the  observer)  of  true  disease  of  the 
viscera. 

Now,  as  a  fact  this  theoretical  possibility  is  just 


MANIFESTATIONS    OF    EMOTION          443 

what  happens.  It  is  one  of  the  commonest  of  oc- 
currences, although  it  is  too  frequently  misunder- 
stood.* A  person,  we  will  say,  has  acquired — owing 
to  no  matter  what  psychogenetic  factor — a  recurrent 
fear.  This  fear,  or,  in  less  obtrusive  form,  anxiety, 
or  apprehension,  is,  we  will  say,  of  disease — heart 
disease  or  insanity  or  fainting  or  cancer  or  epilepsy 
or  what  not.  It  recurs  from  time  to  time  when  awak- 
ened by  some  thought  or  stimulus  from  the  environ- 
ment. At  once  there  is  an  outburst  of  physiological, 
i.  e.,  functional  disturbances,  in  the  form  of  an  "  at- 
tack." There  may  be  violent  cardiac  and  respira- 
tory disease,  tremor,  flushing,  perspiration,  diar- 

*  A  good  example  is  that  of  an  extreme  ' '  neurasthenic, ' '  who 
had  been  reduced  to  a  condition  of  severe  inanition  from  inability  to 
take  a  proper  amount  of  food  because  of  failure  of  digestion,  nausea, 
and  vomiting.  Examined  by  numerous  and  able  physicians  in  this 
country  and  Europe,  none  had  been  able  to  recognize  any  organic 
disease  or  the  true  cause  of  the  gastric  difficulty  which  remained  a 
puzzle.  As  a  therapeutic  measure  her  stomach  had  been  continuously 
and  regularly  washed  out.  Yet  it  was  not  difficult  to  recognize,  after 
analyzing  the  symptoms  and  the  conditions  of  their  occurrence,  that 
the  disturbances  of  the  gastric  functions  were  due  to  complex  mental 
factors,  the  chief  of  which,  emotion,  inhibited  the  gastric  function, 
as  in  Cannon's  experiments,  and  indirectly  or  directly,  induced  the 
nausea  and  vomiting.  The  correctness  of  this  diagnosis  was  recog- 
nized by  the  attending  physician  and  patient.  Sometimes  a  phobia 
complicates  a  true  organic  disease  and  produces  symptoms  which 
mimic  the  symptoms  of  the  latter — heart  disease,  for  example.  In 
this  case  it  is  often  difficult  to  recognize  the  purely  phobic  character 
of  the  symptoms.  O.  H.  C.  was  such  a  case.  Though  there  was 
severe  valvular  disease  of  the  heart,  compensation  was  good  and  there 
was  little  if  any  cardiac  disability.  The  attacks  of  dyspnoea  and 
other  symptoms  were  unmistakably  the  physical  manifestation  of  a 
phobia  of  the  disease.  The  phobia  had  been  artificially  created  by 
overcautious  physicians. 


444  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

rhoea,  sensory  disturbances,  etc.,  followed  by  more 
or  less  lasting  exhaustion.  On  the  principle  of  com- 
plex building,  which  we  have  discussed  in  a  previous 
lecture,  the  various  physiological  reactions  em- 
braced in  such  a  scheme  as  I  have  outlined  tend  to 
become  welded  into  a  complex  (or  association 
psycho-neurosis),  and  this  complex  of  reactions  in 
consequence  recurs  as  a  syndrome  every  time  the 
fear  is  reexcited.  On  every  occasion  when  the  anx- 
iety recurs,  a  group  of  symptoms  recurs  which  is 
made  up  of  these  physical  manifestations  of  emo- 
tion which  are  peculiar  to  the  individual  case.  The 
symptoms,  unless  a  searching  inquiry  is  made  into 
their  mode  of  onset,  sequence,  and  associative  rela- 
tions, will  appear  a  chaotic  mass  of  unrelated  phe- 
nomena ;  or  only  certain  obtrusive  ones,  which  in  the 
mind  of  the  patient  point  to  disease  of  a  particular 
organ,  are  described  by  him.  The  remainder  have  to 
be  specifically  sought  for  by  the  investigator.  The 
latter,  if  experienced  in  such  psycho-neuroses,  can 
often  from  his  knowledge  of  the  phenomena  of  emo- 
tion anticipate  the  facts  and  in  a  large  degree  fore- 
tell to  the  patient  the  list  of  symptoms  from  which 
he  suffers.  By  those  who  lack  familiarity  with  these 
functional  disturbances  mistakes  in  diagnosis  are 
frequently  made.  Disease  of  the  heart,  or  of  the 
stomach,  or  of  the  nervous  system  is  frequently 
diagnosed  when  the  symptoms  are  simply  the 
product  of  emotion.  Quite  commonly,  when  the 
symptoms  are  less  related  to  particular  organs,  but 
more  conspicuously  embrace  vasomotor,  sensory, 


MANIFESTATIONS   OP   EMOTION          445 

digestive  disturbances  (inhibition  of  function),  and 
fatigue,  the  syndrome  is  mistaken  for  so-called 
neurasthenia.*  Thus  it  happens  that  in  recurrent 
morbid  fears — known  as  the  phobias  or  obsessions — 
a  group  of  symptoms  are  met  with  which  at  first 
sight  appear  to  be  unrelated  bodily  disturbances, 
but  which  when  analyzed  are  seen  to  be  only  a  cer- 
tain number  of  physiological  manifestations  of  emo- 
tion welded  into  a  complex.  On  every  occasion  that 
the  fear  recurs  this  complex  is  reproduced. 

It  now  remains  to  study  the  effect  of  the  emotions 
on  the  psychical  side.  This  we  shall  do  in  the  next 
lecture. 

*  One  has  only  to  compare  routine  out-patient  hospital  records 
with  the  actual  state  of  patients  to  verify  the  truth  of  this  state- 
ment. For  purposes  of  instruction  I  have  frequently  done  this  before 
the  class.  The  true  nature  of  the  psycho -neurosis  and  the  irrele- 
vancy of  the  routine  record  and  diagnosis  have,  I  believe,  been  com- 
monly made  manifest.  Sometimes,  however,  of  course,  phobias  com- 
plicate other  diseases,  and  we  have  a  mixed  symptomatology. 


LECTUEE   XV 
INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   AND   CONFLICTS 

It  is  generally  agreed  that  emotions  proper  (as 
distinguished  from  other  affective  states)  may  be 
divided  into  those  which  are  primary  (anger,  fear, 
disgust,  etc.),  and  those  (jealousy,  admiration, 
hatred,  etc.),  which  are  compounded  of  two  or  more 
primary  emotions.  McDougall  has  made  a  great 
contribution  to  our  knowledge  in  having  made  clear 
that  a  primary  emotion  is  not  only  instinctive,  but 
is  the  central  or  psychical  element  in  a  reflex  process 
consisting,  besides,  of  an  ingoing  stimulus  and  an 
outgoing  impulse.  The  whole  process  is  the  in- 
stinct.* It  is  of  course  innate,  and  depends  on  con- 

* .  .  .  "  Every  instinctive  process  has  the  three  aspects  of  all 
mental  processes,  the  cognitive,  the  affective,  and  the  conative.  Now, 
the  innate  psychophysical  disposition,  which  is  an  instinct,  may  be 
regarded  as  consisting  of  three  corresponding  parts,  an  afferent,  a 
central,  and  a  motor  or  efferent  part,  whose  activities  are  the  cog- 
nitive, the  affective,  and  the  conative  features  respectively  of  the 
total  instinctive  process.  The  afferent  or  receptive  part  of  the  totaJ 
disposition  is  some  organized  group  of  nervous  elements  or  neurones 
that  is  specially  adapted  to  receive  and  to  elaborate  the  impulses 
initiated  in  the  sense-organ  by  the  native  object  of  the  instinct;  its 
constitution  and  activities  determine  the  sensory  content  of  the  psy- 
chophysical process.  From  the  afferent  part  the  excitement  spreads 
over  to  the  central  part  of  the  disposition;  the  constitution  of  this 
part  determines  in  the  main  the  distribution  of  the  nervous  impulses, 

446 


genital  prearrangements  of  the  nervous  system. 
The  central  element,  the  emotion,  provides  the  cona- 
tive  or  impulse  force  which  carries  the  instinct  to 
fulfilment.  It  is  the  motive  power,  the  dynamic 
agent  that  executes,  that  propels  the  response  which 
follows  the  stimulus.  Though  we  speak  of  anger 
and  fear,  for  example,  as  instincts,  McDougall  is 
unquestionably  right  in  insisting  that  more  correctly 
speaking  the  activated  instinct  is  a  process  in  which 
the  emotion  is  only  one  factor — the  psychical.  The 
instincts  of  anger  and  fear  should  more  precisely  be 
termed  respectively  ' '  pugnacity  with  the  emotion  of 
anger ' '  and  '  *  flight  with  the  emotion  of  fear. ' '  In  the 
one  case,  the  emotion,  as  the  central  reaction  to  a 
stimulus,  by  its  conative  force  impels  to  pugnacity; 
in  the  other  fear  impels  to  flight;  and  so  with  the 
other  instincts  and  their  emotions  which  I  would 
suggest  may  be  termed  arbitrarily  the  emotion-in- 
stincts, to  distinguish  them  from  the  more  general 
instincts  and  innate  dispositions  with  which  animal 
psychology  chiefly  deals,  and  in  which  the  affective 

especially  the  impulses  that  descend  to  modify  the  working  of  the 
visceral  organs,  the  heart,  lungs,  blood  vessels,  glands,  etc.,  in  the 
manner  required  for  the  most  effective  excitation  of  the  instinctive 
action;  the  nervous  activities  of  this  central  part  are  the  correlates 
of  the  affective  or  emotional  aspect  or  feature  of  the  total  physical 
process.  The  excitement  of  the  efferent  or  motor  part  reaches  it  by 
the  way  of  the  central  part;  its  construction  determines  the  dis- 
tribution of  impulses  to  the  muscles  of  the  skeletal  system  by  which 
the  instinctive  action  is  effected,  and  its  nervous  activities  are  the 
correlates  of  the  conative  element  of  the  physical  process,  of  the  felt 
impulse  to  action."  William  McDougall.  An  introduction  to  Social 
Psychology,  p.  32. 


448  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

element  is  feebler  or  has  less  of  the  specific  psychical 
quality.  For  brevity's  sake,  however,  we  may  speak 
of  the  instinct  of  anger,  fear,  tender  feeling,  etc.  Of 
course  they  are  biological  in  their  nature. 

This  formulation,  by  McDougall,  of  emotion  as 
one  factor  in  an  instinctive  process  must  be  re- 
garded as  one  of  the  most  important  contributions 
to  our  knowledge  of  the  mechanism  of  emotion.  It 
can  scarcely  be  traversed,  as  it  is  little  more  than  a 
descriptive  statement  of  observed  facts.  It  is 
strange  that  this  conception  of  the  process  should 
have  been  so  long  overlooked.  Its  value  lies  in  re- 
placing vagueness  with  a  precise  conception  of  one 
of  the  most  important  of  psychological  phenomena, 
and  enables  us  to  clearly  understand  the  part  played 
by  emotion  in  mental  processes.  It  also  shows 
clearly  the  inadequacy  of  the  objective  methods  of 
normal  psychology  when  attempting  to  investigate 
emotion  by  measuring  the  discharge  of  its  impulsive 
force  in  one  direction  only,  namely,  the  disturbances 
of  the  functions  of  the  viscera  (vasomotor,  glandu- 
lar, etc.).  It  discharges  also  along  lines  of  mental 
activity  and  conduct. 

When  studying  the  organization  of  complexes, 
and  in  other  lectures,  we  saw,  as  everyone  knows  in 
a  general  way,  that  affects  may  become  linked  with 
ideas,  and  that  the  force  derived  from  this  associa- 
tion gives  to  the  ideas  intensity  and  conative  influ- 
ence. Further,  it  was  developed  that  the  linking  of 
a  strong  affect  tends  to  stronger  registration  and 
conservation  of  experiences.  This  linking  of  an  af- 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     449 

feet  to  an  idea  is  one  of  the  foundation  stones  of 
the  pathology  of  the  psycho-neuroses.  One  might 
say  that  upon  it  "hangs  all  the  law  and  the 
prophets. ' ' 

Inasmuch  as  a  sentiment,  even  in  the  connotations 
of  popular  language,  besides  being  an  idea  always 
involves  an  affective  element,  it  is  obvious  that  a 
sentiment  is  an  idea  of  an  object  with  which  one  or 
more  emotions  are  organised.  But,  obvious  as  it  is, 
it  remained  for  Mr.  Shand,  as  McDougall  reminds 
us,  to  make  this  precise  definition.  It  is  hardly  a 
discovery  as  the  latter  puts  it,  as  the  facts  them- 
selves have  been  long  known;  but  it  is  a  valuable 
definition  and  its  value  lies  in  helping  us  to  think 
clearly.  Nearly  every  idea,  if  not  every  idea,  has  an 
affective  tone  of  some  kind,  or  is  one  of  a  complex  of 
ideas  endowed  with  such  tone.  This  tone  may  be 
weak  so  as  to  be  hardly  recognizable,  or  it  may  be 
strong.  Now,  if  emotion  is  one  factor  in  an  instinc- 
tive process,  it  is  evident  that  a  sentiment  more  pre- 
cisely is  an  idea  of  an  object  linked  or  organized 
with  one  or  more  "emotion-instincts."  As  Mc- 
Dougall has  precisely  phrased  it,  "A  sentiment  is 
an  organized  system  of  emotional  dispositions  cen- 
tered about  the  idea  of  some  object."  The  impul- 
sive force  of  the  emotional  dispositions  or  linked 
instincts  becomes  the  conative  force  of  the  idea,  and 
it  is  this  factor  which  carries  the  idea  to  fruition. 
This  is  one  of  the  most  important  principles  of  func- 
tional psychology.  Its  value  can  scarcely  be  exag- 


450  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

gerated.  Without  the  impulse  of  a  linked  emotion 
ideas  would  be  lifeless,  dead,  inert,  incapable  of  de- 
termining conduct.  But  when  we  say  that  an  emo- 
tion becomes  linked  to,  i.  e.,  organized  with  that  com- 
posite called  an  idea,  we  really  mean  (according  to 
this  theory  of  emotion)  that  it  is  the  whole  instinct, 
the  emotional  innate  disposition  of  which  the  emo- 
tion is  only  a  part  that  is  so  linked.  The  instinct  has 
also  afferent  and  efferent  activities.  The  latter  is 
an  impulsive  or  conative  force  discharged  by  the 
emotion.  Thus  the  affective  element  of  an  instinc- 
tive process — a  process  which  is  a  biological  reaction 
— provides  the  driving  force,  makes  the  idea  a 
dynamic  factor,  moves  us  to  carry  the  idea  to  fulfil- 
ment. As  McDougall  has  expressed  it: 

"We  may  say,  then,  that  directly  or  indirectly  the  instincts  are 
the  prime  movers  of  all  human  activity;  by  the  conative  or  im- 
pulsive force  of  some  instinct  (or  of  some  habit  derived  from 
some  instinct),  every  train  of  thought,  however  cold  and  passion- 
less it  may  seem,  is  borne  along  toward  its  end,  and  every  bodily 
activity  is  initiated  and  sustained.  The  instinctive  impulses  de- 
termine the  ends  of  all  activities  and  supply  the  driving  power 
by  which  all  mental  activities  are  sustained;  and  all  the  complex 
intellectual  apparatus  of  the  most  highly  developed  mind  is  but 
a  means  toward  these  ends,  is  but  the  instrument  by  which  these 
impulses  seek  their  satisfactions,  while  pleasure  and  pain  do  but 
serve  to  guide  them  in  their  choice  of  the  means. 

"Take  away  these  instinctive  dispositions  with  their  powerful 
impulses,  and  the  organism  would  become  incapable  of  activity  of 
any  kind ;  it  would  lie  inert  and  motionless  like  a  wonderful  clock- 
work whose  mainspring  had  been  removed,  or  a  steam  engine 
whose  fires  had  been  drawn.  These  impulses  are  the  mental  forces 
that  maintain  and  shape  all  the  life  of  individuals  and  societies, 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     451 

and  in  them  we  are  confronted  with  the  central  mystery  of  life 
and  mind  and  will."  * 

Furthermore  the  organization  of  the  emotions 
with  ideas  to  form  sentiments  is  essential  for  self- 
control  and  regulation  of  conduct,  and  becomes  a 
safeguard  against  mental,  physiological,  and  social 
chaos. 

"The  growth  of  the  sentiments  is  of  the  utmost  importance  for 
the  character  and  conduct  of  individuals  and  of  societies;  it  is  the 
organization  of  the  affective  and  conative  life.  In  the  absence  of 
sentiments  our  emotional  life  would  be  a  mere  chaos,  without 
order,  consistency,  or  continuity  of  any  kind;  and  all  our  social 
relations  and  conduct,  being  based  on  the  emotions  and  their  im- 
pulses, would  be  correspondingly  chaotic,  unpredictable,  and  un- 
stable. It  is  only  through  the  systematic  organization  of  the  emo- 
tional dispositions  in  sentiments  that  the  volitional  control  of  the 
immediate  promptings  of  the  emotions  is  rendered  possible.  Again, 
our  judgments  of  value  and  of  merit  are  rooted  in  our  sentiments; 
and  our  moral  principles  have  the  same  source,  for  they  are 
formed  by  our  judgments  of  moral  value."  f 

Summing  up,  then,  we  may  say  one  of  the  chief 
functions  of  emotion  is  to  provide  the  conative  force 
which  enables  ideas  to  fulfill  their  aims,  and  one 
of  the  chief  functions  of  sentiments  to  control  and 
regulate  the  emotions. 

Besides  the  instinctive  dispositions  proper  there 
are  other  innate  dispositions  which  similarly  pro- 
vide conative  force  and  determine  activities.  For 

*  Social  Psychology,  p.  44. 
t  Ibid,  p.  159. 


452  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  practical  purposes  of  the  problems  with  which 
we  are  concerned,  the  conative  or  impulsive  forces 
of  all  such  innate  dispositions  and  the  sentiments 
which  they  help  to  form  are  here,  it  should  be  under- 
stood, considered  together  and  included  under  in- 
stincts. 

The  conative  function  of  emotion — I  shall  take  up  in  a 
later  lecture  *  (in  connection  with  the  psychogenesis 
of  multiple  personality)  the  instincts  and  senti- 
ments for  discussion  in  more  detail.  The  point  to 
which  I  wish  in  this  connection  to  call  attention  is 
that  when  a  simple  emotion-instinct,  or  an  idea 
linked  with  an  instinct  (a  sentiment)  is  awakened 
by  any  stimulus,  its  impulsive  force  is  discharged 
in  three  directions:  the  first  is  toward  the  excitation 
of  those  articulated  movements  and  ideas  which 
guide  and  carry  the  instinct  to  fruition — to  fight  in 
the  case  of  anger,  to  flee  in  the  case  of  fear,  to  cher- 
ish in  the  case  of  love,  etc.  Second  (accessory  to  the 
first)  the  excitation  of  many  of  the  various  visceral 
functions  which  we  have  reviewed  reinforces  the  in- 
stinctive movements;  e.  g.,  for  pugnacity  or  flight 
the  increased  respiration  and  activity  of  the  heart 
increase  the  supply  of  oxygen  and  blood  to  the  mus- 
cles; the  secretion  of  sweat  regulates  the  tempera- 
ture during  increased  activity,  the  increased  secre- 
tion of  adrenalin  and  the  increased  secretion  of 
sugar  may,  as  Cannon  suggests,  respectively  keep 
up  the  emotional  state  (after  the  cause  of  the  fear 

*  Not  included  in  this  volume. 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     453 

or  anger  has  subsided)  and  meet  the  demand  of  the 
muscles  for  an  extra  supply  of  food,  etc. 

Later  experiments  of  Cannon  seem  to  show  that 
the  adrenal  secretion  removes  the  fatigue  of  mus- 
cles ;  and,  further,  that  stimulation  of  -the  splanchic 
nerves  will  largely  recover  fatigued  muscles,  in- 
creasing the  efficiency  as  much  as  100  per  cent.*  As 
emotion  discharges  its  impulses  along  splanchic 
pathways  to  the  adrenal  glands,  the  inference  as  to 
the  function  of  emotion  in  overcoming  fatigue  is 
obvious. 

As  to  the  sensory  accompaniments  of  emotion,  it 
is  quite  reasonable  to  suppose  that  their  role  is  to 
supplement  and  reinforce  in  consciousness  the  af- 
fect, thereby  aiding  in  arousing  the  individual  to  a 
full  appreciation  of  the  situation  and  to  such  volun- 
tary effort  (whether  to  guide  and  assist  the  instinct 
to  its  fulfillment  or  to  repress  it)  as,  in  the  light  of 
past  experiences,  his  judgment  dictates.  These 
sensory  disturbances  on  this  theory  act  as  additional 
warnings  in  consciousness  where  the  affect  proper 
might  be  too  weak.f  Their  function  would  be  like 
that  of  pain  in  the  case  of  organic  disease.  Pain 
is  a  biological  reaction  and  a  warning  to  the  indi- 
vidual to  rest  the  diseased  part,}  as  well  as  a  danger 
signal. 

The  third  direction  which  the  discharge  of  the 

*  Personally  communicated. 

t  This  theory  of  the  part  played  by  the  sensory  accompaniments 
of  visceral  activity  I  would  suggest  as  a  substitute  for  the  James- 
Lange  theory. 

$  Hilton :     Best  and  Pain. 


454  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

impulsive  force  of  the  emotion  takes  is  toward  the 
repression  of  the  conflicting  conative  force  of  such 
other  emotions  as  would  act  in  an  antagonistic  di- 
rection.* The  utility  of  the  discharge  in  this  direc- 
tion is  supplementary  to  that  of  the  excitation  of  the 
visceral  functions:  the  former  protects  against  the 
invasion  of  counteracting  forces,  the  latter  strength- 
ens the  force  of  the  impulse  in  question. 

Conflicts  thus  arise.  "When  an  emotion  is  aroused 
a  conflict  necessarily  occurs  between  its  impulse  and 
that  of  any  other  existing  affective  state,  the  im- 
pulse of  which  is  antagonistic  to  the  aim  of  the  for- 
mer. Consequently  instincts  and  sentiments  which, 
through  the  conative  force  of  their  emotion,  tend 
to  drive  the  conduct  of  the  individual  in  a  course  in 
opposition  to  that  of  a  newly  aroused  emotion  (in- 
stinct) meet  with  resistance.  Whichever  instinct  or 
sentiment,  meaning  whichever  impulse,  is  the 
stronger  necessarily  downs  the  other;  inhibits  the 
central  and  efferent  parts  of  the  process — ideas, 
emotions  and  impulses — though  the  afferent  part 
conveys  the  stimulus  to  the  central  factor.  Thus 
processes  of  thought  to  which  the  inhibited  senti- 
ment or  instinct  would  normally  give  rise,  or 
with  which  it  is  systematized,  are  likewise  inhib- 
ited and  behavior  correspondingly  modified.  These 
statements  are  only  descriptive  of  what  is  common 
experience.  If  one  recalls  to  mind  the  principal 
primary  emotions  (instincts)  such  as  the  sexual,  an- 

*  Note  analogues  in  Sherrington  's  mechanism  of  the  spinal  re- 
flexes. 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     456 

ger,  fear,  tender  feeling,  hunger,  self-abasement, 
self-assertion,  curiosity,  etc.,  this  is  seen  to  be  an 
obvious  biological  truth.*  Fear  is  suppressed  by 
anger,  tender  feeling,  or  curiosity  (wonder),  and 
vice  versa;  hunger  and  the  sexual  instinct  by  dis- 
gust. 

What  is  true  of  the  primitive  instincts  and 
their  primary  emotions  is  also  true  of  compound 
instincts  (emotions)  and  of  sentiments,  i.  e.,  ideas 
about  which  one  or  several  emotions  are  systema- 
tized. We  may,  therefore,  for  brevity's  sake,  speak 
of  a  conflict  of  ideas  or  sentiments  or  emotions  or 
instincts  indiscriminately.  In  other  words,  any  af- 
fective state  may  be  suppressed  by  conflict  with  an- 
other and  stronger  affective  state.  A  timid  mother, 
impelled  by  the  parental  instinct,  has  no  fear  of 
danger  to  herself  when  her  child  is  threatened.  The 
instinct  of  pugnacity  (anger)  in  this  case  not  being 
antagonistic  (in  conflict)  is  not  only  not  suppressed 
but  may  be  awakened  as  a  reaction  to  aid  in  the 
expression  of  the  parental  instinct.  Per  contra, 
when  anger  would  conflict  with  this  instinct,  as  when 
the  child  does  wrong,  the  anger  is  suppressed  by 
the  parental  instinct.  Conversely,  the  sentiment 
of  love  for  a  particular  person  may  be  completely 
suppressed  by  jealousy  and  anger.  Hatred  of  a 
person  may  expel  from  consciousness  previous  sen- 
timents of  sympathy,  justice,  pity,  respect,  fear,  etc. 
The  animal  under  the  influence  of  the  parental  in- 

*  I  follow  in  the  main  McDougall  's  classification  as  sufficiently 
adequate  and  accurate  for  our  purposes. 


456  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

stinct  may  be  incapable  of  fear  in  defense  of  its 
young,  particularly  if  anger  is  excited.  Fear  may 
be  suppressed  in  an  animal  or  human  being  if  either 
is  impelled  by  great  curiosity  over  a  strange  object. 
Instead  of  taking  to  flight,  the  animal  may  stand 
still  in  wonder.  Similarly  in  man,  curiosity  to  ex- 
amine, for  example,  an  explosive — an  unexploded 
shell  or  bomb — inhibits  the  fear  of  danger  often,  as 
we  know,  with  disastrous  results.  The  suppression 
of  the  sexual  instinct  by  conflict  is  one  of  the  most 
notorious  of  the  experiences  of  this  kind  in  every- 
day life.  This  instinct  cannot  be  excited  during  an 
attack  of  fear  and  anger,  and  even  during  moments 
of  its  excitation,  if  there  is  an  invasion  of  another 
strong  emotion  the  sexual  instinct  at  once  is  re- 
pressed. Under  these  conditions,  as  with  other 
instincts,  even  habitual  excitants  can  no  longer  ini- 
tiate the  instinctive  process.  Chloe  would  appeal  in 
vain  to  her  lover  if  he  were  suddenly  seized  with 
fright  or  she  had  inadvertently  awakened  in  him 
an  intense  jealousy  or  anger.  Similarly  the  instinct 
may  be  suppressed,  particularly  in  men,  as  every 
psycho-pathologist  has  observed,  by  the  awakening 
of  the  instinct  of  self -subjection  with  its  emotion 
of  self-abasement  (McDougall)  with  fear,  shown  in 
the  sentiments  of  incapacity,  shame,  etc.  The  au- 
thors of  "Vous  n'avez  rien  a  declarer"  makes  this 
the  principal  theme  in  this  laughable  drama.  In- 
deed the  principle  of  the  suppression  of  one  instinct 
by  conflict  with  another  has  been  made  use  of  by 
writers  of  fiction  and  drama  in  all  times. 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     457 

This  principle  of  inhibition  by  conflict  allows  us 
to  understand  the  imperative  persistence  (if  not 
the  genesis)  of  certain  sexual  perversions  in  other- 
wise healthy-minded  and  normal  people  who  have 
a  loathing  for  such  perversions  in  other  people  but 
can  not  overcome  them  in  themselves.  H.  0.,  for 
example,  has  such  a  perversion,  and  yet  the  idea 
of  this  perversion  in  another  person  excites  a  lively 
emotion  of  disgust.  In  other  words,  at  bottom,  as 
we  say,  she  is  right-minded.  How  then  account  for 
the  continuance  of  a  self  practice  which  she  repro- 
bates in  another,  censures  in  herself,  and  desires  to 
be  free  of,  and  why  does  not  the  instinct  of  repul- 
sion, and  the  sentiment  of  self  respect,  etc.,  act  in 
herself  as  a  safeguard?  Introspective  examination 
shows  that  when  the  sexual  emotion  is  awakened, 
disgust  and  the  sentiments  of  pride  and  self  respect 
are  suppressed,  and  the  momentarily  activating  in- 
stinct determines  all  sorts  of  sophistical  reasoning 
by  which  the  perversion  is  justified  to  herself.  As 
soon  as  the  instinct  accomplishes  its  aim  it  becomes 
exhausted,  and  at  once  intense  disgust,  meeting  with 
no  opposition,  becomes  awakened  and  in  turn  de- 
termines once  more  her  right-minded  ideas.  Based 
upon  this  mechanism  one  therapeutic  procedure 
would  be  to  organize  artificially  so  intense  senti- 
ments of  disgust  for  the  perversion  and  of  self-re- 
spect that  they  would  suppress  the  sexual  impulse.* 

Likewise  the  intense  religious  emotions  (awe,  rev- 
erence,  self-abasement,   divine  love,   etc.)   may,  if 

*  In  fact,  this  was  successfully  done. 


458  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

sufficiently  strong,  suppress  the  opposing  instincts 
of  anger,  fear,  play,  and  self-assertion,  and  emotions 
compounded  of  them.  Examples  might  be  cited 
from  the  lives  of  religious  martyrs  and  fanatics. 

If  it  is  true  that  ''the  instincts  are  the  prime 
movers  of  all  human  activity,"  and  that  through 
their  systematic  organization  with  ideas  into  senti- 
ments they  are  so  harnessed  and  brought  under 
subjection  that  they  can  be  utilized  for  the  well- 
being  of  the  individual;  and  if  through  this  har- 
nessing the  immediate  promptings  of  the  emotions 
are  brought  under  volitional  control,  then  all  con- 
duct, in  the  last  analysis,  is  determined  by  the  cona- 
tive  force  of  instincts  *  (and  other  innate  disposi- 
tions) harnessed  though  they  be  to  ideas.  For 
though  volition  itself  can  control,  reinforce,  and  de- 
termine the  particular  sentiment  and  thus  govern 
conduct, — reinforce,  for  instance,  a  weaker  abstract 
moral  sentiment  so  that  it  shall  dominate  any  lower 
brutish  instinct  or  sentiment  with  which  it  conflicts, 
still,  volition  must  be  a  more  complex  form  of  cona- 
tion and  itself  issue  from  sentiments. 

We  need  not  enter  into  this  troublesome  problem 
of  the  nature  of  the  willjf  nor  does  it  concern  us. 

*  For  purposes  of  simplification  I  leave  aside  feelings  of  pleas- 
ure and  pain,  excitement  and  depression,  for  though  their  main  func- 
tions may  be  only  to  guide  or  shape  the  actions  prompted  by  the 
instincts,  as  McDougall  affirms,  still  I  think  there  is  sound  reason  to 
believe  that  feelings  also  have  conative  force  and  are  cooperative  im- 
pulsive factors. 

f  McDougall  has  proposed  the  ingenious  theory  that  that  which 
we  understand,  properly  speaking,  by  "will"  is  a  complex  form  of 


It  is  enough  for  our  purpose  to  recognize  that  voli- 
tion can  reinforce  a  sentiment  and  thus  take  part 
in  conflicts.  In  this  way  undesirable  instincts  and 
sentiments  can  be  voluntarily  overcome  and  in- 
hibited or  repressed  and  mental  processes  and  con- 
duct determined. 

Nor  are  we  concerned  here  with  conduct  which 
pertains  more  properly  to  social  psychology.  Our 
task  is  much  more  limited  and  simple,  namely  to 
inquire  into  the  immediate  conscious  phenomena 
provoked  by  emotion,  just  as  we  have  studied  the 
physiological  phenomena.  We  have  seen  that  one 
such  phenomenon  is  inhibition  or  repression  of  an- 
tagonistic instincts  and  sentiments  provoked  by  con- 
flict. (We  shall  see  later  that  a  conflict  may  arise 

conation  issuing  from  a  particular  sentiment,  viz.,  the  complexly 
organized  sentiment  of  self  ("self -regarding  sentiment").  The  be- 
havior immediately  determined  by  the  primitive  instincts  and  other 
sentiments  cannot  be  classed  as  volition,  but  should  be  regarded  as 
simple  instinctive  conation.  When,  therefore,  the  will  reinforces  a 
sentiment  and  determines  conduct  it  is  the  self -regarding  sentiment 
which  provides  the  "volitional"  impulse  and  is  the  controlling  fac- 
tor. If  this  theory  should  stand  it  would  give  a  satisfactory  solution 
of  this  difficult  question.  Perhaps  it  receives  some  support  on  the 
part  of  abnormal  psychology  in  that  certain  observations  seem  to 
show,  if  I  correctly  interpret  them,  that  self -consciousness  is  a  com- 
plex capable  of  being  dissociated  like  any  idea  or  sentiment.  I  shall 
presently  describe  a  quasi-pathological  state  which  may  be  called 
depersonalization.  In  this  state  the  "conscious  intelligence"  present 
is  able  to  think  and  reason  logically  and  sanely,  is  capable  of  good 
judgments,  and  has  an  unusually  large  field  of  memory,  in  short,  is  a 
very  intelligent  consciousness;  nevertheless,  it  exhibits  a  very  strange 
phenomenon:  it  has  lost  all  consciousness  of  self;  it  has  no  sense  of 
personality,  of  anything  to  which  the  term  "I"  can  be  applied. 
This  sentiment  seems  to  be  absolutely  dissociated  in  this  state. 


460  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

between  a  conscious  and  an  entirely  subconscious 
sentiment  with  similar  resulting  phenomena.) 

Repression  of  individual  instincts  may  be  lasting — The 
repressions  resulting  from  conflict  which  we  have 
just  been  considering  have  been  of  a  temporary  na- 
ture lasting  only  just  so  long  as  the  conflict  has 
lasted.  It  is  instructive  to  note  that  just  as  an 
instinct  can  be  cultivated  until  it  becomes  a  ruling 
trait  in  the  character,  so  it  can  be  permanently  re- 
pressed, or  so  intensely  repressed  that  it  cannot  be 
awakened  excepting  by  unusual  excitants  or  under 
unusual  conditions.  Such  a  persisting  repression 
may  be  brought  about  either  directly  by  volitional 
conflict  or  indirectly  through  the  cultivation  of  an- 
tagonistic sentiments.  The  cultivation  of  an  in- 
stinct is  a  common  enough  observation.  Every  one 
can  point  to  some  one  of  his  acquaintance  who  has 
so  fostered  his  instinct  of  anger  or  fear,  has  so 
cultivated  the  habit  of  one  or  the  other  reaction  that 
he  has  become  the  slave  of  his  emotion.  Conversely, 
by  the  conative  force  of  the  will,  and  still  more  suc- 
cessfully by  the  cultivation  of  appropriate  moral 
and  religious  and  other  sentiments,  and  complexes 
or  " settings"  systematized  about  those  sentiments, 
a  person  can  inhibit  any  instinct  or  any  sentiment 
organized  with  that  instinct.  A  bad-tempered  per- 
son can  thus,  if  he  chooses,  become  good-tempered; 
a  coward,  a  brave  person ;  a  person  governed  by  the 
instinct  of  self-subjection  can  repress  it  by  the  cul- 
tivation of  sentiments  of  self-assertion,  and  so  on. 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     461 

The  complete  repression  of  unchristian  instincts 
and  sentiments  is  the  acquired  characteristic  of 
the  saintly  character.  The  cultivation  and  repres- 
sion of  character  traits  and  tendencies  along  these 
lines  obviously  belong  to  the  domains  of  the  psy- 
chology of  character,  social  psychology,  and  crimin- 
ology. But  the  persisting  repression  of  at  least 
one  instinct — the  sexual  instinct — may  take  on 
pathological  significance  *  while  that  of  sentiments 
may  lead  to  pathological  dissociation  and  to  the 
formation  of  disturbing  subconscious  states.  To 
this  latter  type  of  repression  we  shall  presently  re- 
turn. 

That  the  sexual  instinct  may  be  involuntarily  and 
persistently  repressed  by  conflict  is  shown  by  the 
following  case: 

F.  S.  presented  herself  at  the  hospital  clinic  be- 
cause of  hysterical  epileptiform  attacks  of  six 
months'  duration.  The  attacks,  which  had  been 
caused  by  an  emotional  trauma,  were  easily  cured 
by  suggestion.  After  recovery  she  fell  into  lamen- 
tations over  the  fact  that  she  was  sterile  owing  to 
both  ovaries  having  been  removed  three  years  be- 

*  The  repression  of  the  sexual  instinct  and  of  sexual  wishes  plays 
the  dominant  role  in  the  Freudian  psychology.  If  a  wish  may  be 
correctly  denned  psychologically  as  the  impulsive  force  of  a  sentiment 
striving  toward  an  end  plus  the  pleasurable  feeling  resulting  from 
the  imagined  attainment  of  that  end,  i.  e.,  the  imagined  gratification 
of  the  impulse,  then  the  repression  of  a  wish  belongs  to  the  phe- 
nomena of  repressed  sentiments  rather  than  of  primitive  instincts. 
This  distinction,  I  think,  is  of  some  importance,  as  will  appear  when 
we  consider  subconscious  sentiments. 


462  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

fore  because  of  pelvic  disease.  Just  before  the 
operation  she  had  also  suffered  from  an  emotional 
trauma  (fear).  Although  complete  recovery  from 
her  symptoms  had  followed  the  operation,  the  sex- 
ual instinct  had  been  abolished  for  three  years.  She 
was  now  much  distressed  over  her  inability  to  have 
children,  complaining  it  had  led  to  domestic  in- 
felicity, and  apprehending  divorce  which  had  been 
threatened  on  the  ground  of  her  sterility.  Having 
confidence  in  the  strength  of  certain  fundamental 
principles  of  human  nature,  and  disbelieving  the 
reasons  alleged  by  the  husband  for  divorce,  I  was 
able  to  restore  domestic  felicity,  as  well  as  demon- 
strate the  psycho-physiological  principle  that  the 
instinct  was  not  lost  but  only  inhibited.  A  single 
suggestion  in  hypnosis,  psychologically  constructed 
so  as  to  bear  a  strong  conative  impulse  that  would 
overcome  any  other  conflicting  affective  impulses 
and  carry  itself  to  fruition,  restored  not  only  the 
lost  function  *  but  conjugal  happiness.  That  the  in- 
stinct had  only  been  inhibited  is  obvious.  Whether 
the  repressing  factor  had  been  fear  or  an  involun- 
tary auto-suggestion  was  not  determined. 

The  following  case  is  instructive  not  only  because 
of  the  lasting  dissociation  of  this  instinct  as  a 

*  In  making  use  of  suggestion  for  therapeutic  purposes  it  is  es- 
sential to  construct  one  with  strong  emotional  tones  and  pleasurable 
and  exalting  feelings  for  the  purposes  of  increasing  resistances  to 
contrary  impulses,  and  carrying  the  suggestion  to  fruition.  This  I 
believe  to  be  one  of  the  secrets  of  successful  suggestive  procedure. 
The  construction  of  an  effective  suggestion  is  an  art  in  itself  and 
must  be  based  on  the  psychological  conditions  existing  in  each  case. 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     463 

result  of  a  conflict,  but  because  the  dissociation  was 
volitionally  and  intentionally  effected  as  a  revenge. 
Other  interesting  features  are  the  transference  of 
the  repressing  revenge  affect  to  an  object  (clothes 
which  became  an  amulet  or  fetish  to  protect  from 
sexual  approaches,  and  the  building  of  a  complex 
("raw  oyster")  which  became  the  bearer  of  the 
repressing  force.  X.  Y.  Z.  received  a  deep  wound 
to  her  pride  on  the  first  night  of  her  honeymoon 
when  her  husband  forgot  his  bride  of  a  few  hours 
who  was  awaiting  him  in  the  nuptial  chamber. 
Happening  to  meet  in  the  hotel  some  political  ac- 
quaintances after  the  bride  had  retired,  he  became 
absorbed  in  a  political  discussion  and — forgot! 
When  he  appeared  after  a  prolonged  absence  and 
presented  his  excuses  she  was  hurt  in  her  pride 
and  offended  to  think  that  she  was  of  so  little  im- 
portance to  him  that  he  could  become  interested  in 
talking  politics.*  There  was  anger  too,  and  she 
vowed  to  herself  to  show,  or,  to  use  her  own  words, 
she  " would  be  hanged  if"  she  would  show  that  she 
had  any  liking  for  or  any  interest  in  the  marital 
intimacy.  (She  had  never  hitherto  experienced  any 
sexual  feelings  and,  like  most  young  girls,  was  en- 
tirely ignorant  of  the  physical  side.  Nevertheless, 
from  what  she  had  been  told,  she  had  idealized  the 

*  Of  course  this  attitude  is  not  to  be  viewed  as  an  isolated  event 
standing  all  alone  by  itself.  It  must  be  read  like  nearly  all  events 
of  life  in  relation  to  a  series  of  antecedent  events.  These,  to  her, 
had  denoted  indifference,  and  now  on  this  crucial  occasion  formed  the 
real  setting  and  gave  the  offensive  meaning  to  her  spouse's  forget- 
fulness. 


464  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

spiritual  union  of  husband  and  wife  and  anticipated 
pleasurable  experiences.)  So  purposely  she  re- 
pressed any  interest,  made  herself  absolutely  in- 
different to  her  spouse's  amorous  attentions  and 
experienced  absolutely  no  sexual  feeling;  and  so 
it  continued  for  some  days.  In  view  of  what  later 
happened,  and  what  we  know  of  conflicts,  we  must 
believe  that  the  impulses  which  carried  her  volition 
to  fruition  came  from  the  emotions  of  anger,  pride, 
and  revenge. 

Then  one  afternoon,  just  after  she  had  finished 
dressing  herself  preparatory  to  going  out,  her  hus- 
band came  into  her  room  and  made  advances  to 
her.  The  idea  appealed  to  her  and  she  became 
emotionally  excited  at  the  thought.  But  in  the 
middle  of  the  act  when  the  libido  began  to  be 
aroused,  suddenly  she  remembered  that  she  had  been 
snubbed  at  the  first  and  that  her  role  was  to  show 
no  liking  or  interest.  There  were  reawakened  the 
emotions  of  pride,  anger,  and  revenge,  although  not 
malicious  revenge.  Impelled  by  these  emotions  she 
actually  gave  herself  suggestions  to  effect  her  pur- 
pose— a  determination  to  get  square  with  the  past. 
She  said  to  herself,  "I  must  not  like  it;  I  must  put 
it  away  back  in  my  mind,  I  must  become  flabby  as 
an  oyster."  Thereupon  she  became  "perfectly 
limp  and  uninterested  and  the  feelings  of  flabbiness 
came  over"  her,  and  the  beginning  sexual  feeling 
subsided  at  once.  (That  day  she  had  eaten  some 
raw  oysters  and  had  been  impressed  by  them  as  the 
essence  of  flabbiness.)  She  admitted  having  con- 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     465 

timied  during  succeeding  years  to  cherish  this  re- 
vengeful feeling  as  to  the  sexual  relation — to  get 
square  with  the  past.  She  defended  it,  however, 
(although  admitting  the  childishness  of  the  original 
episode)  on  the  ground  that  the  slight  to  her  pride 
must  be  viewed  in  connection  with  a  long  series  of 
antecedent  experiences.  These  must  therefore  be 
viewed  as  the  setting  which  gave  meaning  to  her 
idea  of  sexual  relations  with  her  husband.  After 
this  at  the  sexual  approach  under  conventional 
marital  conditions  she  for  a  time  always  volition- 
ally  induced  this  flabby  ' '  raw-oyster ' '  sensation  and 
feeling.  Later  it  would  automatically  arise  at  the 
first  indication  or  suggestion  of  the  approach  and 
counteract  the  libido.  It  was  now  no  longer  neces- 
sary to  be  on  guard,  knowing  she  could  not  be  taken 
unawares.  The  consequence  has  been  that  the  pa- 
tient has  never  consciously  experienced  any  sexual 
feeling  beyond  those  first  beginnings  at  the  time 
of  the  experience  when  she  was  fully  dressed.  The 
patient  can  produce  the  "raw-oyster"  state  at  will 
and  exhibited  it  voluntarily  during  the  examination. 
The  state  as  then  observed  was  one  of  lethargy  or 
extreme  relaxation.  There  was  no  general  anaes- 
thesia; pinching  and  pricking  was  felt  perfectly, 
but,  as  she  remarked,  they  carried  no  sensation  of 
discomfort.  "I  do  not  care  at  the  moment,"  she 
explained,  * '  what  any  one  does  to  me ;  no  sensation 
would  cause  pleasure  or  discomfort."  To  arouse 
the  state  she  thinks  of  the  sexual  approach  first, 
and  then  the  state  comes.  The  sexual  instinct  has 


466  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

never  been  aroused  by  reading,  or  associative  ideas 
of  any  kind.  "It  does  not  exist,"  to  quote  her 
words. 

Clothes  became  an  amulet  of  protection  in  the 
following  way :  Ever  since  that  afternoon  when  she 
was  taken  unawares  in  her  clothes  (and  "almost 
liked  it")  she  realized  and  feared  that  sexual  ap- 
proaches when  she  was  fully  clothed  might  arouse 
the  sexual  instinct.  Consequently  she  was  more  on 
her  guard  when  fully  clothed  than  at  night  for 
fear  of  being  taken  unawares.  The  idea  that  she 
must  be  on  her  guard  when  clothed  became  fixed, 
and,  at  first,  when  in  this  condition,  she  was  always 
on  her  guard  ready  to  defend  herself  by  pugnacity. 
Then  any  approach  at  such  times,  if  accompanied 
by  physical  contact,  awakened  an  instinctive  reac- 
tion which  became  a  defense;  it  aroused  the  in- 
stincts of  fear  and  anger.  Any  affectionate  demon- 
stration suggestive  of  the  approach  on  the  part  of 
her  husband  would  arouse  these  defensive  instincts. 
On  the  other  hand,  when  half  dressed  there  has 
been  no  such  ebullition  of  emotion ;  she  has  in  conse- 
quence always  believed  that  having  clothes  on  would 
protect  her  against  admirers.  Indeed,  as  a  fact, 
this  is  so,  for  any  show  of  affection  from  any  one 
manifested  by  a  touch,  even  the  friendly  pat  of  the 
hand,  will  cause  an  unnecessary  and  unreasonable 
outburst  of  uncontrollable  anger,  such  as  to  aston- 
ish and  startle  the  offender.  Clothes,  becoming 
thus  a  sentiment  in  which  the  instincts  of  flight  and 
pugnacity  are  incorporated,  have  also  become  a  pro- 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     467 

tection  in  themselves — an  amulet  to  ward  off  dan- 
ger. 

What  reason,  it  may  be  asked,  is  there  for  believ- 
ing that  the  sexual  instinct  really  exists  in  this  case, 
and  is  only  repressed  or  dissociated?  I  may  not 
state  all  the  reasons ;  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  the 
evidence  is  to  be  found  in  dreams.  The  large  num- 
ber of  sexual  dreams  which  the  subject  has  experi- 
enced, many  of  them  accompanied  by  realistic  sex- 
ual manifestations  and  not  symbolic  only,  leave  no 
doubt  of  this  fact.* 

Conflicts  with  subconscious  sentiments.  Thus 
far  we  have  been  considering  conflicts  between  sen- 
timents and  emotional  processes  which  have  been 
in  the  full  light  of  consciousness.  But  in  previous 
lectures  we  have  seen  that  ideas  with  strong  emo- 
tional tones  may  be  dissociated  and  function  below 
the  threshold  of  consciousness  as  coconscious  proc- 
esses. It  is  theoretically  possible,  therefore,  that 
conflicts  might  arise  between  a  dissociated  cocon- 
scious sentiment  and  one  that  is  antagonistic  to 
it  in  consciousness.  To  appreciate  this  theoretical 
condition  let  me  point  out  that  there  is  one  impor- 
tant difference  between  the  ultimate  consequences 
of  the  repression  of  an  instinct  and  of  a  sentiment. 

*  Notwithstanding  the  frequency  with  which  asexuality  is  met 
with  in  women,  I  am  strongly  inclined  to  the  opinion  that  the  sexual 
instinct  in  the  sex  is  never  really  absent,  excepting,  of  course,  in  late 
life  and  in  organic  disease.  No  woman  is  born  without  it.  When 
apparently  absent  it  is  only  inhibited  or  dissociated  by  the  subtle  in- 
fluences of  the  environment,  education,  conflicting  sentiments,  etc. 


468  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

If  an  instinct  is  repressed  (it  being  only  an  innate 
disposition)  it  ceases  to  be  an  active  factor  in  the 
functioning  organism.  It  is  inhibited.  A  stimulus 
that  ordinarily  suffices  to  excite  it  fails  to  do  so, 
and  it  may  respond  only  to  an  extraordinarily  pow- 
erful stimulus,  or  perhaps  none  will  awaken  it. 
Thus  abstinence  from  food  fails  to  awaken  a  sense 
of  hunger  in  a  person  who  has  lost  this  instinct  for 
any  reason,  even  though  appetizing  food  be  placed 
before  him.*  Similarly  anger,  or  fear,  or  tender 
emotion,  or  self-assertion,  or  disgust,  in  certain 
persons  cannot  be  awakened  excepting  by  very  un- 
usual stimuli.  In  other  words,  the  psycho-physi- 
ological reflex  is  completely  or  relatively  in  abey- 
ance just  as  much  so  as  is  an  organic  reflex  (e.  g., 
the  knee-jerk)  which  has  been  inhibited.  Normally, 
of  course,  it  is  rare  for  an  instinct  to  be  absolutely 
inhibited  excepting  temporarily,  as  has  been  ex- 
plained, during  a  conflict  with  another  instinct.  In 
certain  pathological  conditions  (e.  g.,  dissociated 
personality),  almost  any  instinct  may  be  persist- 
ently inhibited.  In  normal  conditions  there  is,  how- 
ever, one  exception,  namely  the  sexual  instinct, 
which,  as  we  have  seen  from  instances  cited,  may 
be  inhibited  during  long  periods  of  time.  In  women 
this  inhibition  is  common  and  is  effected,  as  I  be- 
lieve, by  the  subtle  and  insensible  influence  of  the 
environment  of  the  child  and  by  social  education, 
in  other  words,  by  the  social  taboo.  Wherever 

*  A   distinction   should   bo   made   between   hunger   and    appetite. 
Food  may  excite  appetite,  although  hunger  has  been  appeased. 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,    CONFLICTS     469 

inhibition  occurs  observation  would  seem  to  show 
that  the  psycho-physiological  function  has  ceased 
to  take  part  in  the  functioning  organism. 

With  sentiments,  however,  the  case  stands  dif- 
ferently. A  sentiment,  being  an  idea  about  which 
a  system  of  emotional  dispositions  has  been  organ- 
ized, when  repressed  by  conflict,  or  when  simply  out 
of  mind,  whether  capable  of  reproduction  as  mem- 
ory or  not,  may,  like  all  ideas,  still  be  conserved,  as 
we  have  seen,  as  an  unconscious  neurogram.  As  we 
have  also  seen,  so  long  as  it  is  conserved  it  is  still 
a  part  of  the  personality.  Even  though  repressed 
it  is  not  necessarily  absolutely  inhibited  but  may 
be  simply  dissociated  and  then  be  able  to  take  on 
dissociated  subconscious  activity.  As  a  subcon- 
scious process  the  idea  continues  still  organized 
with  its  emotional  -dispositions,  and  the  conative 
forces  of  these,  under  certain  conditions,  may  con- 
tinue striving  to  give  expression  to  the  idea.  We 
have  already  become  familiar  with  one  phenomenon 
of  this  striving,  namely,  the  emerging  into  con- 
sciousness of  the  emotional  element  of  the  senti- 
ment while  the  idea  remains  subconscious,  thus 
producing  an  unaccountable  fear  or  joy,  feelings  of 
pleasure  or  pain,  etc.  (p.  381). 

1.  This  being  so,  it  having  been  determined  that 
under  certain  conditions  any  conserved  experi- 
ence may  become  activated  as  a  dissociated  sub- 
conscious process,  it  is  theoretically  quite  possible 
that  the  impulses  of  an  activated  subconscious  sen- 
timent might  come  into  conflict  with  the  impulses  of 


470  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

a  conscious  process — the  two  being  antagonistic. 
The  resulting  phenomena  might  be  the  same  as 
when  both  factors  to  the  contest  are  in  conscious- 
ness. In  such  a  conflict  if  the  impulsive  force  of 
the  subconscious  sentiment  is  the  stronger  the  con- 
scious ideas,  sentiments,  and  feelings — in  short,  the 
conscious  process — would  be  repressed,  and  vice 
versa.  Or  if  the  subconscious  sentiment  got  the 
worst  of  the  conflict  and  could  not  repress  the  con- 
scious process,  the  former,  being  dissociated  and 
an  independent  "automatic"  process,  might  theo- 
retically induce  various  other  phenomena  in  the 
effort  to  fulfil  its  aim.  If  it  could  not  directly  over- 
come the  impulses  of  the  conscious  process  it  might 
circumvent  the  latter  by  inducing  mental  and  physi- 
ological disturbances  which  would  indirectly  pre- 
vent the  conscious  impulses  from  fulfilling  their 
aim;  e.  g.,  inhibition  of  the  will,  dissociation  or 
total  inhibition  of  consciousnes,  amnesia  for  par- 
ticular memories,  motor  phenomena  interfering 
with  normal  activity,  etc.  The  subconscious  senti- 
ment engaging  in  such  a  conflict  could  be  excited 
to  activity  by  any  associative  antagonistic  idea  in 
consciousness.  It  should  be  noted  that  the  subject 
being  entirely  unaware  of  the  subconscious  process 
would  not  know  the  cause  of  the  resulting  phe- 
nomena. 

2.  Now,  in  fact,  such  hypothetical  conflicts  and 
phenomena  are  actually  observed  in  very  neat  and 
precise  form  under  experimental  conditions,  par- 
ticularly in  pathological  or  quasi-pathological  sub- 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,    CONFLICTS     471 

jects.  These  conditions  are  particularly  instruc- 
tive as  they  allow  us  to  clearly  recognize  the  sub- 
conscious character  of  the  conflicting  process  and 
detect  the  exact  sentiment  concerned  therein. 

The  following  experiment  illustrative  of  such  a 
conflict  between  a  conscious  and  subconscious  proc- 
ess I  have  repeated  many  times  in  one  subject  with 
the  same  resulting  phenomenon.  It  has  been 
demonstrated  on  several  occasions  to  psychologists 
and  others.  On  the  first  occasion  when  the  phe- 
nomenon was  observed  it  was  entirely  spontaneous 
and  unexpected  as  also  has  since  been  frequently 
the  case. 

B.  C.  A.  in  one  phase  of  alternating  personality 

(B)  was  asked  to  mention  a  certain  complex  of 
ideas  which  was  known   to   have  been   organized 
about  a  distressing  "sentiment"  in  another  phase 

(C)  causing  considerable  unhappiness.     This  sen- 
timent included  a  strong  emotion  of  pride  in  conse- 
quence of  which  she  had  in  the  C  phase  intense 
objections  to  revealing  these  ideas.    As  she  herself 
said,   she   "would  have  gone  to  the   stake  first." 
Phase  B  has  no  such  sentiment,  but  on  the  contrary 
the  ideas  in  question  were  only  amusing  to  her.* 

*  Note  that  the  same  idea  forms  different  sentiments  in  different 
phases  or  moods,  according  to  the  emotions  with  which  it  is  linked. 
In  this  case,  in  phase  C,  it  is  linked  with  mortification,  self-abase- 
ment, possibly  anger,  pride,  and  feelings  of  pain  and  depression; 
in  phase  B,  with  joyful  emotions  and  feelings  of  pleasure  and  ex- 
citement. Also  note  that  the  former  sentiment,  although  out  of  mind 
at  the  time  of  the  observation,  is  conserved  in  the  unconscious. 


472  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

In  phase  B,  therefore,  she  not  only  had  no  objection 
to  revealing  the  sentiment  distressing  to  C  but  de- 
sired for  therapeutic  reasons  to  do  so.  In  accord- 
ance with  this  difference  of  sentiments  the  differ- 
ence in  the  attitude  of  mind  in  the  two  phases 
toward  the  same  experience  was  quite  striking.  The 
impulse  in  the  one  was  to  conceal  the  experiences 
and  sentiment,  in  the  other  to  divulge  them. 

Now,  in  reply  to  an  interrogatory  as  to  what  was 
distressing  in  the  C  phase,  B  begins  to  mention  the 
sentiment.  At  once,  and  to  her  astonishment,  her 
lips  and  tongue  are  tied  by  painful  spasms  involv- 
ing, also,  the  throat  muscles.  She  becomes  dumb, 
unable  to  overcome  the  resistance.  She  struggles 
in  vain  to  speak.  When  she  gives  up  the  struggle 
to  pronounce  the  forbidden  words  she  speaks  with 
ease  on  other  subjects  saying  "something  pre- 
vented me  from  speaking."  Each  time  that  she 
endeavors  to  turn  State's  evidence  and  to  peach 
on  herself,  the  same  struggle  is  repeated.  When 
she  persists  in  her  effort,  using  all  her  will-power, 
the  effect  of  the  conflicting  force  extends  to  con- 
sciousness. Her  thoughts  become  first  confused, 
then  obliterated,  and  she  falls  back  in  her  seat  limp, 
paralyzed,  and  apparently  unconscious.  The 
thoughts  to  which  she  strove  to  give  expression  have 
disappeared.  She  now  cannot  even  will  to  speak. 

But  she  is  not  really  unconscious,  it  is  only  an- 
other phase;  there  is  only  a  dissociation  or  inhibi- 
tion of  the  consciousness  comprising  the  system  of 
ideas  making  up  the  B  phase  and  an  awakening  of 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,    CONFLICTS     473 

another  restricted  system.  When  automatic  writ- 
ing is  tried,  it  is  found  that  a  limited  field  of  con- 
sciousness is  present  in  which  are  to  be  found  the 
ideas  which  opposed  the  resistance.  A  precise 
statement  of  the  opposing  factors  (volition)  which 
offered  the  resistance  and  brought  about  the  con- 
flict, the  spasm  of  the  vocal  apparatus,  and  finally 
inhibition  or  dissociation  of  consciousness,  is  ob- 
tained from  this  dissociated  restricted  field.* 

This  phenomenon  carries  its  own  interpretation 
on  its  face  and  cannot  be  doubted.  Certain  senti- 
ments, for  the  moment  dormant  and  outside  the 
focus  of  awareness  of  the  subject,  are  ''struck"  or 
stimulated  by  memories  within  that  focus.  The 
conative  force  of  the  conscious  wishes  to  which  the 
subject  seeks  to  give  expression  meets  with  the  re- 
sistance of  a  similar  and  more  powerful  force  from 
the  previously  dormant  sentiment.  The  latter  car- 
ries itself  to  fulfilment  and  controls  the  vocal  ap- 
paratus at  first,  and  then,  finding  itself  likely  to  be 
overcome  by  the  will-power  of  the  personality,  an- 
nihilates the  latter  by  the  inhibition  and  dissocia- 
tion of  consciousness. 

Various  forms  of  the  same  phenomenon  of  con- 
flict with  subconscious  processes  I  have  experi- 
mentally demonstrated  in  Miss  B.  and  0.  N. 
Spontaneous  manifestations  of  the  same  have  also 

*  At  first  the  subject  (B)  had  no  anticipation  or  supposition  that 
such  a  conflict  would  occur.  Later  she  learned  after  repeated  expe- 
riences to  anticipate  the  probable  consequences  of  trying  to  tell  tales- 
out-of -school. 


474  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

been  frequently  observed  in  all  three  subjects.  In 
the  published  account  of  Miss  B.*  numerous  ex- 
amples are  given.  I  will  merely  refer  to  the  attacks 
of  aboulia,  the  dissociations  of  consciousness  and 
inhibition  of  thought,  and  of  speech  resulting  in 
stuttering  and  dumbness,  the  inhibition  of  motor 
activity,  the  induction  of  systematized  anesthesia 
and  alexia,  etc.  In  the  prolonged  study  of  the  case 
I  was  the  witness,  I  was  going  to  say,  of  innumera- 
ble exhibitions  of  such  manifestations,  and  the  book 
is  replete  with  examples  of  conflicts  between  oppos- 
ing mental  processes.  B.  C.  A.  in  her  account,  *  *  My 
Life  as  a  Dissociated  Personality, ' '  f  has  described 
similar  spontaneous  phenomena.  It  is  worth  noting 
in  this  connection  that  the  commonplace  phenomena 
of  systematized  anesthesia  (negative  hallucina- 
tions) may  be  induced  by  conflict  with  a  subcon- 
scious process  motivated  by  strong  emotion.  Thus 
Miss  B.  in  one  of  her  phases  could  not  see  the  writ- 
ing on  a  sheet  of  paper  which  appeared  blank  to 
her;  on  another  occasion  she  could  not  see  the 
printing  of  the  pages  of  a  French  novel  which  she 
therefore  took  to  be  a  blank  book,  nor  could  she 
see  a  bookcase  containing  French  books. §  The  sub- 
conscious conflicting  ideas  were  motivated  by  anger 
in  the  one  case  and  jealousy  in  the  other.  That  the 
conflicting  ideas  in  this  case  were  elements  synthe- 
sized in  a  large  dissociated  system  or  subconscious 

*  The  Dissociation,  see  Index:  "Subconscious  ideas." 

t  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  October-November,  1908. 

§  The  Dissociation,  p.  538. 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     475 

self  in  no  way  affects  the  principle,  which  is  that 
of  conflict  between  processes.  The  conflicting  proc- 
ess in  such  conditions  is  a  more  complex  one,  that 
is  all.  Undoubtedly  the  systematized  anesthesia,  so 
easily  induced  by  hypnotic  suggestion  and  which 
has  been  made  the  subject  of  much  study,  may  be 
explained  on  the  same  principle,  although  the  affec- 
tive elements  are  not  so  obtrusive.  The  conflict  is 
between  the  personal  volition  of  the  subject  to  see 
the  marked  playing-card,  if  that  is  the  test  object 
used  in  the  experiment,  and  the  suggested  idea  not 
to  see  it.  The  latter  wins  if  the  experiment  is  suc- 
cessful and  inhibits  the  perception  of  the  card — 
i.  e.,  dissociates  it  from  the  focus  of  awareness. 
(The  emotional  tones  involved  are  obscure;  possi- 
bly they  are  curiosity  on  the  one  hand  vs.  self-sub- 
jection on  the  other.) 

The  unconscious  resistance  to  suggestion  is  prob- 
ably of  the  same  nature.  Every  one  knows  that  it 
is  difficult  to  hypnotize  a  person  who  resists  the 
suggestion.  This  resistance  may  come  from  a 
counter  auto-suggestion  which  may  be  entirely  in- 
voluntary, perhaps  a  conviction  on  the  part  of  the 
subject  that  she  cannot  be  hypnotized,  or  an  un- 
willingness to  be — i.  e.,  desire  not  to  be  hypnotized 
or  fear.  The  same  is  true  of  waking  a  person  from 
hypnosis.  In  other  words,  an  antagonistic  pre- 
paredness of  the  mind  blocks  involuntarily  the  sug- 
gestion. A  very  pretty  illustration  is  the  follow- 
ing: H.  0.  discovered  that  she  could  easily  and 
rapidly  hypnotize  herself  by  simply  passing  her 


476  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

own  fingers  over  her  eyelids,  but  she  could  not  wake 
herself  out  of  hypnosis.  She  then  discovered  that, 
if  she  first  gave  herself  the  suggestion  that  she 
would  wake  when  she  desired,  she  could  quickly  do 
so.  Likewise,  if  she  suggested  to  herself  that  she 
could  not  hypnotize  herself  the  customary  proce- 
dure was  without  effect.  Though  this  observation 
is  a  common  phenomenon  the  rapidity  and  ease  with 
which  the  phenomenon  was  demonstrated  were  as 
striking  as  it  was  amusing  to  watch  her  struggle 
to  awake  when  the  preparatory  anticipatory  auto- 
suggestion had  not  been  given. 

In  0.  N.  more  complicated  phenomena  induced  by 
conflicts  with  subconscious  complexes  have  been 
equally  precise  and  striking.  In  this  subject  I  find, 
as  the  result  of  repeated  observations,  that,  in  order 
that  a  suggestion,  that  is  antagonistic  to  a  preexist- 
ing attitude  of  mind  possessing  a  strong  feeling 
tone,  shall  not  be  resisted  in  hypnosis,  it  must  be 
first  formally  accepted  by  the  personality  before 
hypnosis  is  induced.  If  this  viewpoint  is  not  pre- 
formed, after  hypnosis  is  induced  the  blocking  atti- 
tude cannot  be  altered.  Practically  this  means  that 
the  subject  shall  bring  into  consciousness  and  dis- 
close ideas  with  which  the  intended  suggestion  will 
conflict  and  shall  modify  them  voluntarily.  This 
she  does  by  first  candidly  accepting  a  new  point  of 
view,  and  then,  secondly,  by  a  technical  procedure 
of  her  own,  namely,  by  preparing  her  mind  not  to 
resist  in  hypnosis.  This  procedure,  briefly  stated 
and  simplified,  is  as  follows:  she  first  says  to  her- 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     477 

self,  "I  will  'take  out'  that  [resisting]  idea."  Then 
she  arranges  in  her  thoughts  the  ideas  of  accept- 
ance which  she  will  substitute.  Then  she  puts  her- 
self into  a  state  of  abstraction  (hypnosis)  and  sug- 
gests to  herself  that  the  resisting  idea  is  taken  out 
and  that  my  intended  suggestion  shall  be  her  view- 
point. Even  then,  sometimes,  when  the  resisting 
idea  is  one  harking  back  to  a  long  past  period  of 
life  and  belonging  to  a  pathologically  organized 
"mood,"  known  as  the  "b  mood"  or  state,  the 
acceptance  of  the  suggestion  may  be  ineffectual. 
Under  these  circumstances  and  when  the  hypnotic 
dissociation  is  carried  too  far,  so  that  the  hypnotic 
state  is  reduced  to  the  "b  mood,"  the  previously 
auto-suggested  acceptance  of  the  idea  by  the  pa- 
tient is  thereby  ostracized  from  the  hypnotic  field 
and  is  unable  to  play  its  part  and  have  effect.  So 
much  by  way  of  explanation.  Now  when  the  precau- 
tion has  not  been  taken  to  see  that  any  resisting 
idea  has  been  "taken  out"  and  when  the  intended 
suggestion  has  not  been  accepted,  one  of  the  fol- 
lowing phenomena  is  observed:  (1)  the  hypnotic 
personality  when  the  suggestion  is  given  becomes 
"automatically"  and  unconsciously  restless,  en- 
deavors, without  knowing  why,  to  avoid  listening, 
and  to  push  me  away,  shifting  her  attitude  and 
struggling  to  withdraw  herself  from  contact  or 
proximity — all  the  time  the  face  expressing  hos- 
tility and  disapproval  in  its  features;  or  (2)  com- 
plete obnubilation  of  consciousness  supervenes  so 
that  the  suggestions  are  not  heard;  or  (3)  the  sub- 


478  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

ject  suddenly  wakes  up.  The  last  frequently  hap- 
pens as  often  as  the  suggestion  is  repeated;  and 
yet  in  hypnosis  (and  also,  of  course,  when  awake), 
the  subject  is  unaware  of  what  causes  the  resist- 
ance and  the  resulting  phenomena.  But  if  now  the 
subject  is  warned  of  what  has  occurred  and  accepts 
the  suggestion  by  the  procedure  mentioned  (unless 
the  "b  mood"  I  have  mentioned  recurs),  the  resist- 
ance and  other  phenomena  at  once  cease  and  the 
suggestion  takes  effect.  Thus  in  this  case  the  con- 
flicting ideas  can  always  be  precisely  determined 
and  the  conditions  of  the  experiment  arranged  at 
will  and  the  results  controlled.  It  is  obvious  that 
all  three  phenomena  are  different  modes  by  which 
the  subconscious  idea  resists  the  suggested  idea  and 
accomplishes  its  aim. 

3.  In  entire  accordance  with  the  experimental  re- 
sults are  certain  pathological  disturbances  which 
from  time  to  time  interrupt  the  course  of  everyday 
life  of  this  subject,  0.  N.  These  disturbances  con- 
sist of  one  or  more  of  the  following:  a  dissociative 
state  in  which  the  pathological  "b  mood"  is  domi- 
nant ;  a  lethargic  state ;  twilight  state ;  complete  re- 
pression of  certain  normal  sentiments  and  in- 
stincts; complete  alteration  of  previously  estab- 
lished points  of  view;  morbid  self-reproach;  nerv- 
ousness, restlessness,  agitation;  anger  at  opposi- 
tion; indecision  of  thought,  etc.  Now,  whenever 
such  phenomena  recur,  with  practical  certainty, 
they  can  always  be  traced  by  the  use  of  technical 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     479 

methods  to  a  conflict  with  a  turbulent  sentiment  (in 
which  strong  emotional  tones  are  incorporated) 
previously  lying  dormant  in  the  unconscious. 
Sometimes  the  turbulent  sentiment  can  be  definitely 
traced  to  childhood's  experiences.  Very  often  it 
has  been  intentionally  formed  and  put  into  her  mind 
by  the  subject  herself  for  the  very  purpose  of  in- 
ducing the  repression  of  other  sentiments,  to  which 
for  one  reason  or  another  for  the  time  being  she 
objects,  and  of  changing  her  habitual  point  of  view. 
Her  method  of  artificially  accomplishing  this  result 
is  exceedingly  instructive.  It  is  similar  to  the  au- 
to-suggestive process  I  have  described  in  connec- 
tion with  the  hypnotic  experiments.  Having  first 
prearranged  her  psychological  plan,  she  proceeds 
to  put  herself  into  abstraction  and  to  "take  out", 
as  she  calls  it,  her  previous  sentiment  (or  instinct) 
and  substitute  an  antagonistic  sentiment.  When 
she  comes  to  herself  out  of  abstraction,  the  previ- 
ously objected  to  sentiment  has  completely  van- 
ished. If  it  is  one  concerning  a  person  or  mode  of 
life,  she  becomes  completely  indifferent  to  that 
person  or  mode  of  life  as  if  previously  no  sentiment 
had  existed.  If  an  intimate  friend,  he  becomes  only 
an  acquaintance  toward  whom  she  has  entirely  new 
feelings  corresponding  to  the  new  sentiment;  if  a 
physician,  nothing  that  he  says  has  influence  with 
her,  her  new  feeling,  we  will  say,  being  that  of 
resentment;  if  a  mode  of  life,  she  has  lost  all  inter- 
est in  that  mode  and  is  governed  by  an  interest  in 
a  new  mode.  Even  physiological  bodily  instincts 


480  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

have  been  in  this  way  suppressed.  She  has  in- 
dulged this  psychological  habit  for  years.  Again 
and  again  when  she  has  exhibited  these,  and  still 
other,  phenomena,  I  have  been  able  to  discover  their 
origin  in  this  auto-suggestive  procedure. 

Some  of  the  other  phenomena  I  have  just  men- 
tioned are  more  likely  to  be  traced  to  autochthonous 
conflicts  between  everyday  ideas — dissatisfactions 
with  actual  conditions  of  life,  and  wishes  for  other 
conditions,  unwillingness  to  forego  the  fulfilment 
of  certain  wishes  and  accept  the  necessary  condi- 
tions as  they  exist,  etc.  The  natural  consequence 
is  restlessness,  agitation,  anger,  indecision,  etc. 
The  dissociation  of  personality,  with  the  outcrop- 
ping of  the  "b  mood,"  follows — a  conflict  due  to 
the  excitation  of  certain  childhood  complexes,  con- 
served in  the  unconscious  and  embracing  sentiments 
in  which  are  incorporated  the  instinct  of  self-sub- 
jection or  abasement.  This  "b  mood"  is  a  study  in 
itself.  The  self-reproaches  are,  I  believe,  also 
traceable  to  this  instinct. 

Conflicts  may  even  occur  between  two  processes, 
both  of  which  are  subconscious  and  therefore  out- 
side of  the  awareness  of  the  subject.  Thus,  in  B. 
C.  A.  I  have  frequently  observed  the  following: 
while  the  right  hand  has  been  engaged  in  automatic 
writing,  the  left  hand,  motivated  by  a  subconscious 
sentiment  antagonistic  to  the  subconscious  ideas 
performing  the  writing,  has  seized  the  pencil, 
broken  it,  or  thrown  it  across  the  room.  The  two 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     481 

conflicting  systems  of  thought,  each  with  its  own 
sentiments  and  wishes,  have  been  made  to  disclose 
themselves  and  exhibit  their  antitheses  and  antipa- 
thies. 

The  principle  of  emotional  conflict  and  the  phe- 
nomena we  have  outlined  enable  us  to  understand 
the  mechanism  of  prolonged  reaction  time  and 
blocking  of  thought  observed  in  the  so-called  "word 
association  tests."  These  tests  involve  too  large  a 
subject  for  us  to  enter  upon  them  here.  Let  it  suf- 
fice to  say  that  when  a  test  word  strikes  an  emo- 
tional complex  the  response  of  the  subject  by  an 
associated  word  may  be  delayed  or  completely 
blocked.  The  emotional  impulse  which  inhibits  the 
response  may  come  from  an  awakened  conscious 
or  subconscious  memory. 

The  psychogalvanic  reaction  as  physical  evidence  of  actual 
subconscious  emotional  discharge. — This  reaction  may  be 
also  used  to  demonstrate  that  subconscious  processes 
may  actually  give  forth  emotional  impulses  without 
the  ideas  of  those  processes  entering  the  personal 
consciousness. 

1.  I  may  be  permitted  to  cite  here  some  experi- 
ments,* which  I  made  with  Dr.  Frederick  Peterson, 
as  they  leave  the  minimum  of  latitude  for  interpre- 
tation and  come  as  close  as  possible  to  the  demon- 
stration of  emotional  discharges  from  processes  en- 
tirely outside  of  awareness.  Such  a  demonstration 

*  Journal  Abn.  Psycliol.,  June-Juty,  1908. 


482  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

is  important  for  the  theory  of  subconscious  conflicts. 

The  experiments  were  undertaken  in  a  case  of 
multiple  personality  (B.  C.  A.)  with  a  view  to  ob- 
taining the  galvanic  phenomenon  from  coconscious 
states.  This  case  offered  an  exceptional  oppor- 
tunity to  determine  whether  the  galvanic  reaction 
could  be  obtained  in  one  personality  from  the  dis- 
sociated complexes  deposited  by  the  experiences  of 
the  second  alternating  personality  for  which  there 
was  complete  amnesia  on  the  part  of  the  first. 
These  dissociated  experiences,  of  course,  had  never 
entered  the  awareness  of  the  personality  tested,  who, 
therefore,  necessarily  could  not  possibly  recall  them 
to  memory.  With  the  information  furnished  by  the 
second  personality,  it  was  easy  to  arrange  test 
words  associated  with  the  emotional  ideas  of  the 
experiences  belonging  to  this  personality  and  un- 
known to  the  one  tested. 

Similarly  it  was  possible  to  test  whether  galvanic 
reaction  could  be  obtained  from  complexes — from 
subconscious  complexes — the  residua  of  forgotten 
dreams,  as  in  this  case  the  dreams  were  not  remem- 
bered on  waking.  An  account  of  the  dreams  could 
be  obtained  in  hypnosis.  The  dreams  were  there- 
fore simply  dissociated. 

Again  we  could  test  the  possibility  of  obtaining  re- 
actions from  subconscious  perceptions  and  thoughts 
which  had  never  arisen  into  awareness.  The  re- 
quired information  concerning  these  perceptions  and 
thoughts  could  be  obtained  in  this  case  in  hypnosis. 

Now  we  found  that  test  words  which  expressed 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,    CONFLICTS     483 

the  emotional  ideas  belonging  to  a  forgotten  dream 
gave,  in  spite  of  the  amnesia,  very  marked  rises  in 
the  galvanic  curve.  The  same  was  true  of  the  test 
words  referring  to  dissociated  experiences  belong- 
ing to  the  alternating  personality  for  which  the 
tested  personality  had  amnesia,  and  of  the  subcon- 
scious perceptions.  For  instance  (as  an  example 
of  the  latter),  the  word  lorgnette,  referring  to  a 
subconscious  perception  of  a  stranger  unnoticed  by 
the  conscious  personality,  gave  a  very  lively  reac- 
tion. 

Further,  pin  pricks,  which  could  not  be  con- 
sciously perceived  owing  to  the  anesthesia  of  the 
skin,  gave  strong  reactions. 

Now  here  in  the  first  two  sets  of  observations 
were  emotional  effects  apparently  obtained  from 
what  were  very  precise  complexes  which  were  def- 
initely underlying,  in  that  they  never  had  been 
experienced  by  the  personality  tested  and  there- 
fore could  not  come  from  memories,  or  from  associa- 
tions of  which  this  personality  was  aware.  They 
could  only  come  from  the  residua  of  a  personality 
which  had  experienced  them  and  which  was  now 
"underlying."  That  these  experiences  had  been 
conserved  is  shown  by  the  recovery  of  them  in  a 
hypnotic  state,  and  by  their  being  remembered  by 
the  secondary  personality.  Even  the  pin  pricks, 
which  were  not  felt  on  account  of  the  anesthesia, 
gave  reactions.  It  could  be  logically  inferred,  there- 
fore, that  the  galvanic  reaction  was  due  to  the  ac- 
tivity of  subconscious  complexes,  using  the  term  in 


484  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

the  narrow  and  restricted  sense  of  conserved  resi- 
dua without  conscious  equivalents.  But  the  condi- 
tions were  more  complicated  than  I  have  described. 
There  was  in  this  case  a  veritable  coconscious  per- 
sonality, a  split-off,  well-organized  system  of  con- 
scious states  synthesized  into  a  personal  conscious- 
ness— two  foci  of  self-consciousness.  Now  the 
coconscious  personality  with  its  large  system  of 
thoughts  had  full  memory  of  all  these  amnesic  ex- 
periences; it  remembered  the  dreams  and  the  ex- 
periences of  the  second  personality,  and  perceived 
the  pin  pricks.  Hence  we  concluded  ihat  the  gal- 
vanic phenomena  were  obtained  from  the  memory 
and  perceptions  of  this  coconscious  personality. 

This  demonstration  of  an  actual  physical  dis- 
charge is  proof  positive  that  an  emotional  process 
can  function  subconsciously.  This  being  so,  it  only 
needs  this  discharge  to  come  into  conflict  with  some 
other  process,  conscious  or  subconscious,  for  one  or 
other  phenomenon  of  conflict  to  be  manifested. 

2.  This  psycho-galvanic  phenomenon  may  be  corre- 
lated with  those  phenomena  which  we  have  already 
studied  (p.  381)  wherein  the  emotional  element 
of  the  process  alone  rises  into  consciousness.  The 
former  phenomenon  is  therefore  the  manifestation 
of  the  efferent  and  the  latter  of  the  central  part  of 
the  activated  emotional  disposition.  The  former 
supports  the  interpretation  of  various  clinical  motor 
phenomena  as  being  the  efferent  manifestations  of 
purely  subconscious  emotional  processes.  I  refer 


INSTINCTS,   SENTIMENTS,   CONFLICTS     485 
> 

to  hysterical  tics,  spasms,  contractures,  etc.  The 
latter  phenomenon  we  have  had  frequent  occasion 
to  refer  to.  You  will  remember,  for  instance,  that 
in  the  case  of  Miss  B.  on  numerous  occasions  it  was 
observed  that  emotion,  particularly  of  fear,  swept 
over  the  conscious  personality  without  apparent 
cause.  This  emotion  could  be  traced  to  specific  dis- 
sociated and  coconscious  ideas.  Likewise  in  B.  C.  A., 
states  of  anxiety  or  depression  could  be  related  to 
specific  coconscious  ideas  which,  having  been 
shunted  out  of  the  field  of  consciousness,  continued 
their  activity  in  a  coconscious  state.  Janet,  as  might 
be  expected  of  so  accurate  an  observer,  long  ago  de- 
scribed the  same  phenomenon — the  invasion  of  the 
personal  consciousness  by  the  emotion  belonging  to 
a  coconscious  idea.  "Isabella,"  he  writes,  " pre- 
sents constantly  conditions  which  have  the  same 
character ;  we  shall  cite  but  one  other  in  the  interest 
of  the  study  of  dementia.  For  a  week  or  so  she  has 
been  gloomy  and  sad;  she  hides  and  will  not  speak 
to  anyone.  We  have  trouble  in  getting  a  few  words 
from  her,  and  these  she  says  very  low,  casting  her 
eyes  down:  'I  am  not  worthy  to  speak  with  other 
people.  ...  I  am  very  much  ashamed,  I  have  a 
crushing  load  on  my  mind  like  a  terrible  gnawing  re- 
morse .  .  .  ' — 'A  remorse  about  what?' — 'Ah! 
that's  just  it.  I  am  trying  to  find  it  out  day  and 
night.  What  is  it  that  I  could  have  done  last  week? 
for  before  I  was  not  thus.  Tell  me  candidly,  did  I  do 
something  very  bad  last  week?'  This  time,  as  will 
be  seen,  the  question  is  no  longer  about  an  act,  but 


486  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

about  a  feeling,  a  general  emotional  state  which  she 
interprets  as  remorse;  she  is  equally  incapable  of 
understanding  and  expressing  the  fixed  idea  which 
determines  this  feeling.  If  you  divert  the  subject's 
attention,  you  can  obtain  the  automatic  writing,  and 
you  will  see  that  the  hand  of  the  patient  constantly 
writes  the  same  name,  that  of  Isabella's  sister  who 
died  a  short  time  ago.  During  the  attacks  and  the 
somnambulic  sleep  we  establish  a  very  complicated 
dream  in  which  this  poor  young  girl  thinks  she  mur- 
dered her  sister.  That  is  quite  a  common  delirium, 
you  will  say;  perhaps  so,  but  for  a  hysteric  it  pre- 
sents itself  in  a  rather  curious  manner.  She  suf- 
fers only  from  its  rebound,  experiences  only  the 
emotional  side  of  it;  of  the  delirium  itself  she  is 
wholly  ignorant;  the  latter  remains  subcon- 
scious." .  .  . 

"It  will  be  seen  by  this  last  example  that,  in  some 
cases,  a  small  portion  of  the  fixed  idea  may  be  con- 
scious. Isabella  feels  that  she  is  troubled  by  some 
remorse,  she  knows  not  what.  It  thus  frequently 
happens  that  hystericals,  during  their  normal  wak- 
ing time,  complain  of  a  certain  mental  attitude,  so 
much  so  that  they  partly  look  as  if  obsessed.  Ce- 
lestine  experiences  thus  feelings  of  anger  which  she 
cannot  explain."  : 

As  might  be  expected  intense  conflicts  may  have 
wide-reaching  consequences  and  lead  to  the  devel- 
opment of  pathological  conditions.  Indeed,  in  the 
latter  we  find  the  most  clear-cut  exemplars  of  re- 

*  The  Mental  State  of  Hystericals,  pp.  289-290. 


INSTINCTS,    SENTIMENTS,    CONFLICTS     487 

pression  (dissociation)  and  other  phenomena  pro- 
duced by  conflict.  I  shall  point  out  in  later  lec- 
tures *  how  in  a  specific  case  intense  religious  sen- 
timents completely  repressed  their  antagonistic  in- 
stincts and  eventuated  in  dissociation  of  (multiple) 
personality  (Miss  B.)  Likewise  with  B.  C.  A.,  as  I 
interpret  the  phenomena,  the  dissociation  of  per- 
sonality resulted  from  a  conflict  between  wishes 
that  could  not  be  fulfilled  and  sentiments  of  duty, 
respect,  etc.  We  shall  see  later  the  significance  of 
this  principle  for  the  understanding  of  other  patho- 
logical states. 

*  Not  included  in  this  volume. 


LECTURE   XVI 

GENERAL     PHENOMENA     RESULTING     FROM     EMO- 
TIONAL   CONFLICTS 

The  awakening  of  intense  emotional  impulses  we 
have  seen  tends  to  intensify  certain  activities  and 
to  inhibit  other  conflicting  ones.  Further  when  that 
which  is  inhibited  is  a  sentiment  possessing  an 
intense  emotion  the  sentiment  tends  to  become  dis- 
sociated *  from  the  personal  consciousness  and  free 

*  Inhibition  and  dissociation,  although  often  loosely  used  as  in- 
terchangeable terms,  are  not  strictly  synonymous,  in  that,  theoreti- 
cally at  least,  they  are  not  coextensive.  That  which  is  inhibited  may 
be  absolutely,  even  if  temporarily,  suppressed  as  a  functioning  proc- 
ess, as  in  physiological  inhibition  (e.  g.,  of  reflexes,  motor  acts, 
etc.)  ;  or  it  may  be  only  inhibited  from  taking  part  in  the  mechan- 
isms of  the  personal  consciousness,  and  thereby  dissociated  from  that 
psychophysiological  system.  In  the  latter  case  the  inhibited  process 
is  not  absolutely  suppressed,  but  may  be  capable  under  favoring  con- 
ditions of  independent  functioning  outside  of  that  system.  This  is 
dissociation  in  its  more  precise  sense.  Inhibition  may  be  said  to  have 
induced  dissociation,  and  then  the  two  may  be  regarded  as  only  dif- 
ferent aspects  of  one  and  the  same  thing.  In  the  former  case  (abso- 
lute suppression)  the  inhibited  process  cannot  function  at  all,  as  in 
certain  types  of  amnesic  aphasia  when  the  memory  for  language  is 
functionally  suppressed.  Inhibition  therefore  may  or  may  not  be 
equivalent  to  dissociation.  Practically  as  observed  in  psychological 
phenomena  it  is  often  difficult  to  distinguish  between  them,  and  it  is 
convenient  to  consider  them  together. 

488 


EMOTIONAL   CONFLICTS  489 

to  become  by  the  force  of  its  own  emotional  dispo- 
sitions a  subconscious  process.  As  a  consequence 
of  these  tendencies  there  may  result  a  number  of 
psycho-physiological  conditions  of  personality  with 
some  of  which  we  should  become  familiar.  They 
are  observable,  as  would  be  expected,  in  every-day 
life,  and  when  highly  accentuated  become  patho- 
logical phenomena.  Let  us  now  consider  some  of 
them  in  detail. 

Contraction  of  the  field  of  consciousness  and  of  personality. 
—In  every-day  life  intense  emotion  excludes  from 
the  field  of  awareness  thoughts  that  are  unrelated, 
antagonistic  to  and  incompatible  with  the  ideas  ex- 
citing the  emotion,  and  perceptions  of  the  environ- 
ment that  ordinarily  would  enter  awareness.  The 
field  of  consciousness  is  thereby  contracted  and  lim- 
ited to  thoughts  excited  by  or  associated  with  the 
emotion.  Thus,  for  example,  in  the  heat  of  anger  the 
mind  is  dominated  by  the  particular  object  or 
thought  which  gave  rise  to  the  anger,  or  by  anger  ex- 
citing associated  ideas.  Conflicting  memories  and 
correlated  knowledge  that  would  modify  the  point  of 
view  and  judgment  and  mollify  (inhibit)  the  anger 
are  suppressed  and  cannot  enter  the  focus  of  atten- 
tion. Further,  a  person  in  such  a  state  may  not 
perceive  many  ocular,  auditory,  tactile,  and  other 
impressions  coming  from  the  environment;  he 
may  not  see  the  people  about  him,  hear  what 
is  said,  or  feel  what  is  done  to  him,  or  only  in 
an  imperfect  way.  All  these  sensations  are  either 


490  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

actually  inhibited  or  prevented  from  entering 
awareness  (dissociated)  by  the  conflicting  conative 
force  of  the  emotion.  In  other  words  there  is  a 
dissociation  (or  inhibition)  of  consciousness  and 
consequent  contraction  of  its  field  to  certain  emo- 
tional ideas. 

To  take  a  concrete  example,  you  are  playing  a 
game  of  cards  and  with  zest  throw  yourself  into  the 
game.  Something  happens  to  arouse  your  anger. 
At  once  there  is  a  conflict:  The  impulsive  force  of 
your  pugnacity  instinct  meets  with  the  impulsive 
force  of  your  play  instinct  and  its  pleasure  feelings. 
If  the  former  is  the  stronger,  the  latter  with  the 
ideas  to  which  it  is  linked  are  inhibited,  repressed, 
driven  out  of  consciousness.  The  pleasure  of  play 
ceases  and  its  impulses  no  longer  determine  your 
thoughts.  Further,  you  forget  the  cards  that  have 
been  played  though  you  knew  them  well  a  moment 
before,  you  may  forget  your  manners,  become  ob- 
livious to  social  etiquette  and  the  environment.  You 
can  no  longer  reason  on  the  play  of  the  cards; 
you  forget  your  card  knowledge.  All  these  proc- 
esses are  inhibited,  and  consequently  the  field 
of  consciousness  and  personality  becomes  con- 
tracted. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  emotion  of  anger  dominat- 
ing the  mind,  ideas  associated  with  or  which  tend 
to  carry  your  pugnacity  instinct  to  fruition,  arise 
and  direct  and  determine  your  conduct.  Habit  re- 
actions are  likely  to  come  automatically  into  play, 
and  you  break  out  into  angry  denunciatory  speech, 


EMOTIONAL   CONFLICTS  491 

if  that  is  your  habit.  I  leave  you  to  fill  out  the  de- 
tails of  the  picture  for  yourselves. 

And  yet,  again  through  training  in  self-control,  a 
self-regarding  sentiment  conflicting  with  the  anger 
impulse  may  be  awakened,  and  the  latter  in  turn 
be  dominated,  repressed,  inhibited. 

In  the  case  of  an  intense  fear  it  is  common  ob- 
servation that  this  contraction  may  reach  a  high  de- 
gree. In  the  excitement  of  a  railroad  accident  the 
frightened  passenger  does  not  feel  the  bruising  and 
pain  which  he  otherwise  would  suffer,  nor  hear  the 
shrieks  of  his  fellow  passengers  nor  perceive  but  a 
small  part  of  what  is  occurring  about  him,  but 
driven  only  by  the  intensely  motivating  idea  of  es- 
cape from  danger  he  struggles  for  safety.  His  field 
of  consciousness  is  limited  to  the  few  ideas  of  dan- 
ger, escape,  and  the  means  of  safety.  All  else  is 
dissociated  by  the  conative  force  of  the  emotion  and 
cannot  enter  the  focus  of  attention.  He  could  not 
philosophize  on  the  accident  if  he  would.  In  ordi- 
nary concentration  of  attention  or  absent-minded- 
ness the  same  phenomenon  of  contraction  of  the  field 
of  consciousness  occurs  occasioned  by  interest;  but 
with  cessation  of  interest  the  field  of  awareness 
quickly  widens.  So  in  contraction  of  this  field  from 
emotion  the  normal  is  restored  so  soon  as  the  emo- 
tion ceases. 

When  this  same  general  contraction  of  the  field 
of  consciousness,  effected  by  the  repressing  force  of 
emotion,  reaches  a  certain  acme  we  have  a  patho- 


492  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

logical  condition — the  hysterical  state.  The  field  of 
consciousness  is  now  occupied  by  the  single  disso- 
ciating idea  or  complex  of  ideas  with  its  emotion 
that  did  the  repressing — a  condition  of  mono-ideism. 
All  other  conscious  processes  are  inhibited  or  disso- 
ciated. When  the  complex  is  an  intensely  emotional 
one,  its  nervous  energy,  now  unbridled,  is  free  to 
discharge  itself  in  many  directions,  perhaps  pro- 
ducing convulsive  phenomena  of  one  kind  or 
another. 

To  attribute  these  effects  of  emotion  to  repression 
from  conflict  is  only  to  express  the  facts  in  different 
terms.  But  it  would  be  often  an  over-emphasis  to 
describe  what  takes  place  as  a  specific  conflict  be- 
tween particular  sentiments.  It  is  often  rather  the 
discharge  of  a  blind  impulsive  force  in  every  direc- 
tion which,  like  a  blast  of  dynamite,  suppresses  or 
dissociates  every  other  process  which  might  come 
into  consciousness  and  displace  it. 

Systematized  dissociation. — Quite  commonly  the 
dissociated  field,  by  whatever  force  isolated,  instead 
of  being  general  may  be  systematized.  By  this  is 
meant  that  only  certain  perceptions,  or  groups  or 
categories  of  ideas  that  have  been  organized  into  a 
system,  or  have  associative  relations,  are  pre- 
vented from  entering  the  personal  synthesis.  In 
other  respects  the  conscious  processes  may  be 
normal.  The  simplest  type  is  probably  sys- 
tematized anesthesia,  exemplified  in  every-day  life 
in  anyone  who  fails  to  perceive  his  eye-glasses, 


EMOTIONAL   CONFLICTS  493 

or  any  other  object  he  is  in  search  of  that  is 
lying  under  his  nose  on  the  table  before  him ;  and 
by  the  post-hypnotic  phenomenon  exhibited  by  the 
subject  who  fails  to  perceive  a  marked  playing 
card  or  to  hear  or  see  a  given  person,  though 
he  perceives  all  the  other  cards  in  the  pack  and 
everyone  else  in  the  room;  and  by  the  hysteric 
who  likewise  fails  to  perceive  certain  system- 
atized sensations,  such  as  the  printing  on  a 
page  which,  itself,  therefore  appears  blank.  That 
which  is  dissociated  in  these  examples  is  a  compa- 
ratively very  simple  complex,  but  it  may  involve 
larger  and  larger  groups  of  remembrances,  percep- 
tions, sentiments  (with  their  emotions  and  feel- 
ings), settings,  attitudes,  instincts,  and  other  innate 
dispositions,  etc.,  organized  into  a  system  about  the 
sentiment  of  self.  Such  groups  and  systems  may, 
as  we  saw  when  studying  the  organization  of  com- 
plexes (Lecture  IX),  be  dissociated  in  that  they 
cease  to  take  part  in  the  functioning  of  the  person- 
ality. The  personality  becomes  thereby  contracted. 

1.  The  principle  involved  is  this :  When  a  specific 
idea  or  psycho-physiological  function  (memory,  sen- 
sation, perception,  instinct)  is  by  any  force  dis- 
sociated, the  exiled  idea  or  function  tends  to  carry 
with  itself  into  seclusion  other  ideas  and  functions 
with  which  it  is  systematized.  The  dissociation  is 
apt  to  involve  much  more  than  the  particular  psy- 
chological element  in  question  in  that  it  "robs"  the 
personal  consciousness  of  much  else.  I  have  already 


494  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

cited  in  a  previous  lecture  (p.  318)  examples  of  this 
principle.  I  need  merely  remind  you  of  the  obser- 
vation with  Miss  B.,  where  the  systematized  disso- 
ciation of  auditory  images  pertaining  to  the  experi- 
menter carried  with  it  the  associated  secondary 
visual  images  of  him  necessary  for  tactile  percep- 
tion of  his  hand.  Similarly,  in  B.  C.  A.,  the  general 
dissociation  of  tactile  images  carried  with  it  the 
secondary  visual  images  necessary  for  the  visuali- 
zation of  her  body.  A  large  number  of  examples 
drawn  from  all  kinds  of  dissociative  phenomena 
might  be  given.  I  will  content  myself  with  men- 
tioning two  or  three  more:  In  automatic  writing 
the  dissociated  muscular  control  of  the  hands  usu- 
ally robs  the  personal  consciousness,  so  far  as  the 
hand  is  concerned,  of  all  sensory  perception,  and 
in  automatic  speech  the  dissociation  of  the  faculty 
of  speech  often  robs  the  personal  consciousness  of 
the  auditory  perception  of  the  subject's  own  voice. 
In  hysterics,  the  specific  dissociation  of  one  class  of 
perceptions  carries  away  others  systematized  with 
them.  In  systematized  anesthesia  it  is  often  easy 
to  recognize  this  fact.  A  good  example  of  this  is 
that  recorded  in  the  case  of  Miss  B.,  who,  believing 
she  had  lost  her  finger  rings,  not  only  could  not 
be  made  to  see  or  feel  them,  but  also  not  even  the 
ribbon  on  which  they  were  hung  round  her  neck,  or 
to  hear  them  click  together,  or  to  feel  the  tug  of  the 
ribbon  when  I  pulled  it*  The  perceptions  of  these 
associated  sensations  were  therefore  also  with- 

*  The  Dissociation,  p.  189. 


EMOTIONAL   CONFLICTS  495 

drawn.  The  same  principle  can  be  demonstrated  by 
suggestion  in  suitable  subjects.  Thus,  for  example, 
I  suggest  to  one  of  these  subjects  in  hypnosis  that 
she  will  forget  an  episode  associated  with  a  certain 
person  named  "August."  After  waking  she  has 
amnesia  not  only  for  the  episode  but  for  the  name 
of  the  person  and  for  the  word  in  its  other  mean- 
ings, e.  g.,  the  name  of  a  calendar  month.  She  can- 
not recall  that  a  month  intervenes  between  July 
and  September. 

In  these  examples  the  source  of  the  dissociating 
force  is  not  in  every  case  obvious.  But  this  need 
not  concern  us  now.  What  I  want  to  point  out  is 
that  when  the  dissociation  is  the  consequence  of  an 
emotional  discharge  the  same  principle  frequently 
comes  into  play,  the  same  phenomenon  of  systema- 
tization  is  of  common  occurrence.  It  may  be  recog- 
nized with  considerable  exactness  when  a  conflict 
between  sentiments  has  been  artificially  created. 
Thus  the  phenomenon,  described  in  the  last  lecture 
(p.  476),  of  inhibition  of  sentiments  by  a  self-sug- 
gested antagonistic  sentiment,  may  equally  well  be 
cited  in  evidence  of  this  principle.  Similarly,  0.  N. 
suggested  to  herself  a  sentiment  antagonistic  to  a 
specific  sentiment  which  she  previously  entertained 
regarding  a  particular  person.  Not  only  was  the 
latter  sentiment  dissociated  but  a  number  of  other 
allied  sentiments  systematized  around  the  same  per- 
son were  also  incidentally  and  unintentionally  re- 
pressed and  withdrawn  from  consciousness,  so  much 


496  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

so  that  her  whole  point  of  view  was  altered.*  (It 
was  easy  in  hypnosis  by  the  procedures  already 
stated  to  synthesize  the  sentiments  at  will  so  as  to 
drive  out,  with  suggested  antagonistic  sentiments, 
the  undesired  ones.  The  change  of  viewpoint  and 
feeling  after  waking  from  hypnosis  was  often  quite 
dramatic.) 

2.  By  this  mechanism  we  can  explain  the  dissocia- 
tion of  large  systems  of  sentiments  leaving  a  con- 
tracted personality — a  mere  extract  of  its  former 
self — dissociated  and  distinguished  from  what  it 
was  by  different  sentiments,  instincts  and  other  in- 
nate dispositions.!  The  facts  seem  to  show  that  the 
awakening  of  the  emotional  impulses  of  certain  sen- 
timents inhibits,  not  only  those  particular  antago- 
nistic sentiments  with  which  the  former  are  incom- 
patible, but  large  systems  of  sentiments,  and  many 
instincts  and  other  innate  dispositions  with  which 
the  inhibited  sentiments  are  systematized.  The 
contracted  self  may  or  may  not  be  able  to  recall 
to  memory  the  fact  of  having  previously  experienced 
the  dissociated  sentiments.  But  whether  so  or  not 

*  One  sees  the  same  phenomenon  in  every-day  life.  Let  a  person 
acquire  under  a  sense  of  injury  a  dislike  of  one  who  previously  was 
a  friend,  and  every  sentiment  involving  friendship,  admiration,  es- 
teem, gratitude,  loyalty,  etc.,  is  repressed  with  a  complete  change  of 
attitude.  Politics  furnishes  many  examples. 

f  Exemplified  in  Miss  B.  by  Sally,  in  O.  N.  by  the  b  mood,  and 
in  B.  C.  A.  by  phase  B,  and  also  in  the  earlier  stages  of  the  case  by 
phase  A. 


EMOTIONAL   CONFLICTS  497 

the  latter  no  longer  functionally  participate  in  the 
personality. 

This  mechanism,  to  be  sure,  is  an  interpretation 
but  the  facts  are  easily  demonstrated.  Minor  types 
of  such  dissociations  result  in  what  we  have  de- 
scribed as  " moods."  More  extreme  types  are 
pathological  and  characterized  as  phases  of  person- 
ality. 

3.  The  contrast  of  the  sentiments  in  such  moods 
and  phases  with  the  habitual  sentiments  having 
identically  the  same  objects  is  striking.  In  other 
words  the  object  is  organized  with  an  entirely  dif- 
ferent group  of  emotions  (instincts).  The  subject's 
sentiment  of  husband  or  wife  or  father  or  son  no 
longer  contains  the  emotions  of  love  and  reverence, 
etc. ;  but,  perhaps,  there  are  organized  within  it  the 
emotions  of  anger,  hatred,  contempt,  etc.  A  self- 
regarding  sentiment  of  self -subjection  with  shame, 
"feelings"  of  inadequacy  and  depression  may  be 
substituted  for  self-assertion,  pride,  self-respect, 
etc.  These  clinical  facts  are  matters  of  observation. 

B n  suffers  from  constantly  recurring  and  very 

intense  attacks  of  asthma  which  have  certain  char- 
acteristics which  stamp  it  as  an  hysterical  tic. 
'In  the  attacks  it  is  noticeable  that  her  personality 
and  disposition — normally  amiable,  gentle,  and 
affectionate — undergo  a  change.  The  parental  in- 
stinct and  sentiments  of  affection  for  her  family, 
of  whom  she  is  very  fond,  of  modesty,  of  pride, 
of  consideration  for  others,  etc.,  disappear  and  are 


498  THE   UNCONSCIOUS 

replaced  by  others  of  an  opposite  character.  Fear, 
anger,  and  resentment  are  easily  aroused,  etc.  B. 
C.  A.  in  phase  B  of  personality  knew  nothing  of 
remorse,  self-reproach,  or  despair  which  character- 
ized the  normal  phase,  and  experienced  only  emo- 
tions and  feelings  of  pleasure  and  happiness.* 

Janet,  with  his  customary  accuracy  in  observing 
facts,  has  noted  these  changes,  although  I  think  in 
his  attempt  at  interpretation  he  has  not  quite 
recognized  the  mechanism  by  which  they  are 
brought  about.  "With  Eenee,"  this  author  re- 
marks, when  noting  the  facts,  "we  have  gradually 
seen  disappearing  the  taste  for  finery ;  her  coquetry 
— vanity,  even — disappeared.  With  others,  the  love 
of  property  is  gone;  they  lose  all  that  belongs  to 
them  and  do  not  care.  Bertha  formerly  had  great 
timidity;  she  now  wonders  at  the  loss  of  it.  She 
goes  and  comes  at  night;  she  looks  at  dead  bones  of 
which  she  was  afraid  in  past  years,  and  asks: 
'Why  does  all  this  make  no  impression  on  me  now?' 
Marie,  especially,  is  very  curious  as  to  that.  She 
takes  no  longer  any  interest  in  things  or  people. 
Overwhelmed  with  misfortunes,  consequences  of  her 
malady,  and,  after  having  been  in  comfortable  cir- 
cumstances, reduced  to  extreme  poverty,  she  does 
not  perceive  that  her  situation  is  serious.  She  loses 
money,  when  she  has  only  a  few  pennies  left;  she 
mislays  her  clothing,  can  scarcely  keep  on  the  dress 

*  My  Life  as  a  Dissociated  Personality,  Jl.  Ab.  Psychol.,  Decem- 
ber-January, 1908-9. 


EMOTIONAL    CONFLICTS  499 

she  is  wearing  and  does  not  seem  to  trouble  herself 
about  it  in  the  least.  Yet  we  observe  that  she  is  still 
intelligent  and  might  provide  against  her  situation. 
She  does  so  very  little,  and  only  wonders  at  her 
indifference.  'Formerly  I  took  care  of  my  things; 
now  I  do  not.'  There  are  some  still  more  charac- 
teristic facts  to  be  observed  in  this  patient.  For- 
merly she  loved  her  husband  and  was  even  quite 
jealous  about  him.  She  was  devoted  to  her  two 
children.  Since  her  illness  she  has  gradually  aban- 
doned her  children,  who  have  been  reared  by  her 
sisters,  and  she  finally  left  her  husband.  For  the 
last  three  years,  instead  of  her  former  hap